All posts tagged: Gillian Wearing

Learning from the Late Robert Irwin and More

Learning from the Late Robert Irwin and More

Welcome to “To See or Not to See,” a recurring column covering a handful of exceptional Los Angeles gallery and museum exhibitions—the good, the bad, and the criminally overrated—in easily digestible, bite-size pieces. “What is the nature of the game we’re in?” the late Robert Irwin asked me during an interview in 2016. So began his standard 90-minute art school lecture, recounted in a nondescript McDonald’s in San Diego. It was riveting, to be honest. In Irwin’s telling, the story of modern art was a radical, heroic event: “100 years of dismantling pictorial reality” during which Kazimir Malevich had achieved a new artistic ground zero. Recognizing “nothing they knew or loved,” friends of the late Suprematist called his floating squares a desert. Malevich however, freed from the burden of pictorial representation, looked at his own paintings and saw what he described as “the supremacy of pure feeling.” “It’s not ‘I think therefore I am,’” Irwin said. “It’s ‘I feel, and therefore I think, and therefore I am.’ And that is the name of the game.” Irwin, the …