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1980 Robert Irwin Born: Long Beach, California 1928 mixed media: fiberboard, paper, plastic and fabric 22 3/4 x 22 1/8 x 10 in. (57.8 x 56.2 x 25.4 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Transfer from the General Services Administration 1980.49.6 Not currently on view

Luce Center Quote

“Of course we all think we simply see . . . but do we really? . . . we pass through the world habituating and editing out much more than we ever acknowledge.” Robert Irwin, quoted in Robert Irwin, ed. Russell Ferguson, 1993

Luce Center Label

Robert Irwin believes that the viewer’s perceptions, rather than material objects, define a place. In 1983, for a General Services Administration commission at the Old Post Office in Washington, D.C., Irwin hung forty-eight panels of translucent fabric in rows from the atrium ceiling. Irwin intended the fabric to alter the way the viewer looked at the whole space. He hoped that because the panels appeared and disappeared, depending on the angle of sunlight coming through the skylight, the viewer’s eye would constantly move between the architecture and the fabric, increasing her awareness of the original architectural details of the atrium.


Abstract - geometric

Architecture Interior - civic - post office




mixed media