Before I started reading the book, I did some research of Robert Irwin’s art work. He give me a feeling that he is such a secular mystic stubbornly loyal to some original, irreducible sense of truth, a sense that, to hear him talk about it, he seems to have been born with. His work attempts to emphasize specific spatial situations, to play the role of the same as brackets, including our experience of the phenomenon. I can feel the strong “energy” in his exhibition, just like he mention in his book.
The most interesting aspects of this book are the insights into Irwin’s process and evolution. We can see how Irwin develops in every stage of his career, often as these developments are happening. We discover how relationships, environment, the art world, and philosophy influence Irwin’s evolution and how each element manifests itself in his work. It also easy to see his linear trajectory and the almost empirical methodology he used to create his work. Irwin’s interdisciplinary approach to art confirmed and extended everything that I’ve been thinking about. He pushes us away from thinking about creating to just plain thinking.
Irwin typically deals with abstract, minimalist, and formalist art which is often considered “difficult”, even by open minded art viewers. He extensively details his mental and physical process, offering an unparalleled look at just what goes into these works. He recounts staring at a canvas for weeks, trying to decide precisely where a line should go and what impact it will have on the finished work. I think it make me gain an appreciation of why some people find it interesting and what might have been going through the mind of the artist when he/she created it.