Tag Archives: Robert Irwin

Epiphany

January 6 is Epiphany, the last ‘Day of Christmas.’  In many cultures, it is a day of celebration, marking the visitation of the wise men, the magi, to the baby Jesus.  The wise men revealed the divinity of the baby Jesus to the world.

The Magi Journeying, Tissot, 1886-1894, Brooklyn Museum

The Magi Journeying, Tissot, 1886-1894, Brooklyn Museum

The Cambridge English dictionary defines epiphany as a moment when you suddenly feel that you understand, or suddenly become conscious of, something that is very important to you.

The Art Caravan’s theme for this year, 2017, came as a ‘mini’ Epiphany when writing the posting about Robert Irwin’s 1°2°3°4°.  Speaking about his installation, Irwin said,

And here it’s like I am saying, you know the kind of attention you have been taught to lavish on a Renaissance landscape within its as-if window frame, try lavishing that sort of attention on the world itself. In fact, get rid of the window. Just experience the world!

The Art Caravan will be doing its best to experience the world this year.  Off we go!

 

 

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Days of Christmas continued…..

Today we are leaping from the Renaissance, in Italy, to installation art in southern California as we continue to celebrate the days of Christmas.

One of my favourite Robert Irwin pieces is 1°2°3°4°. ( I’ve written about Irwin here and here.)

1° 2° 3° 4°, Robert Irwin, 1997, photo by T. Vatrt

1° 2° 3° 4°, Robert Irwin, 1997, photo by T. Vatrt

1°2°3°4° is a semi-permanent installation at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego.  It’s an excellent example of a site specific work of art, which looks deceptively simple:  three squares of glass removed from the windows.

1° 2° 3° 4°, Robert Irwin, 1997, photo by T. Vatrt

1° 2° 3° 4°, Robert Irwin, 1997, photo by T. Vatrt

1° 2° 3° 4°, Robert Irwin, 1997, photo by T. Vatrt

1° 2° 3° 4°, Robert Irwin, 1997, photo by T. Vatrt

1° 2° 3° 4°, Robert Irwin, 1997, photo by T. Vatrt

1° 2° 3° 4°, Robert Irwin, 1997, photo by T. Vatrt

Listen to what Irwin says about his work:  And here it’s like I am saying, you know the kind of attention you have been taught to lavish on a Renaissance landscape within its as-if window frame, try lavishing that sort of attention on the world itself.  In fact, get rid of the windowJust experience the world!

….now you’ve taken the frame and sort of bent it, which just brings that even into more focus, it turns out that before it was slightly out of focus, but now, bang, it snaps into focus, becoming completely pictorial while in fact being the opposite of pictorial, which is to say experiential, because on top of everything else now you get the sounds drifting in from outside, and the soft breeze blowing, the whole thing becoming truly four dimensional.  (from page 270-271, seeing is forgetting the name of the thing one sees by Lawrence Weschler.)

Experience the world!  They are inspiring words for the new year.

 

 

Location, location, location!

If you’re a regular reader of The Art Caravan, you know I can’t say enough good things about the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (La Jolla).  (You can read my post from April 2014 , Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla.)

My last visit came with a bonus:  the showing of Robert Irwin’s installation 1°2°3°4°.  It’s part of MCASD’s permanent collection.  (You might also know that I’m rather fond of Robert Irwin, and his work that explores ideas of  perception.)

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Yes!  These are openings cut into the windows facing the Pacific Ocean.  The installation is oddly compelling.  Granted, it’s a pretty spectacular view (!), but 1°2°3°4° does cause the viewer to experience the artwork in a different way.  More of our senses are engaged besides the stunning visual:  the feel of the breezes, the scent and sound of the ocean, and the reality of the framed image.  (The glass is tinted, and  makes the view exposed by the opening appear more real….more immediate.)

If you’re in the area, it really is worth the effort to visit this gallery.  (The cafe closes at 3 p.m., so plan accordingly.)