A progenitor of the late 1960s California-based movement known as Light and Space, Robert Irwin began his career as an abstract painter. His early practice shifted from painting in the early 1970s, eschewing objects entirely in favor of more ephemeral, site-conditioned installations. First realized as a commission in 1972 for Harvard University’s Fogg Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Full Room Skylight-Scrim V is an early scriminstallation and marks the momentous shift in his practice following his discovery of the ethereal material in 1970. This large-scale work, which recently entered Dia’s permanent collection, goes on long-term view in summer 2022. Given Irwin's central role in the design of Dia Beacon, this display celebrates his foundational vision for the museum and offers the rare opportunity to appreciate the interconnections between the artistic and architectural aspects of his oeuvre.
Robert Irwin was born in Long Beach, California, in 1928. He lives and works in San Diego.