Andrew Perchuk

Robert Irvin - Against the Gestalt

Vortrag im Rahmen der Konferenz "Frames of Viewing"

Andrew Perchuk

Andrew Perchuk



This paper argues that Robert Irwin's work from the late 1950s through the early 1970s was predicated on an encounter between viewer and artwork in real time and space in which perception was pitted against conceptualization. Beginning with Irwin's interest in Zen Buddhism in the late fifties, which stressed the heuristic necessity of direct experience, his paintings confound attempts to abstract them. The Late Line paintings (1962-64) seem to be simple works for the mind to grasp-in each a monochromatic, even field of color is divided by two lines at given points-yet it is in fact impossible to experience the paintings in the manner one conceives of them. While Minimalism arose in New York in the early sixties from a specific reading of Frank Stella's paintings, on the West Coast, Irwin reacted strongly against Stella's emblematic imagery. For Irwin, the strong Gestalt forms in Minimalism order perceptual experience hierarchically, encouraging the viewer to focus on simple, coherent shapes and to dismiss all other visual stimuli. To counter Gestalt perception, Irwin participated in the perceptual experiments with sensory deprivation being conducted by the aerospace industry in Southern California, taking part in the massive "Art and Technology" project organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art from 1967-71.

KünstlerInnen / AutorInnen



Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles und Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin.


Haus der Kulturen der Welt, John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10, 10557 Berlin, Deutschland



Eingabe des Beitrags

, 22.05.2003



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