Oral Histories

Interview of Robert Irwin (1975)

Light-and-space artist and creator of site-specific works.
Los Angeles Art Community: Group Portrait, Robert Irwin
Los Angeles Art Community - Group Portrait
Biographical Note:
Light-and-space artist and creator of site-specific works.
Wight, Frederick S.
Irwin, Robert
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
7 hrs.
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Series Statement:
This series includes interviews with prominent Los Angeles-based visual artists and other members of the art establishment whose careers span the period from the 1920s through the 1970s. It documents the art community of the pre-World War II period and the rise of Los Angeles as a nationally recognized art center in the postwar period. Funding for this series was provided by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Childhood in Southern California; lack of early aesthetic influences; study at Otis Art Institute; contact with Ferus Gallery group; Felix Landau Gallery show, 1957; influence of Billy Al Bengston, Craig Kauffman; early line paintings; Los Angeles artists; gradual discernment of visual laws; nature of abstract expressionism; dot paintings; teaching at Chouinard Art Institute and University of California, Irvine; escape from rectangular canvases; discs and their lighting; experiments after work with discs; art as open inquiry; aftereffects of Museum of Modern Art installation; desert projects; show at UCLA Art Gallery; "Art and Technology" project, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1968-70; work with Ed Wortz; inquiry into perception as solitary enterprise; proximity of science and art; show at Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, 1975; dealing with space as sculpture; projects with Fort Worth Art Center, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and Whitney Museum of American Art.