Seeing Is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees: A Life of Contemporary Artist Robert Irwin - Chapter 18 Summary & Analysis

Lawrence Weschler
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Chapter 18 Summary and Analysis

Irwin's display at the Whitney Retrospective consists of a room with a large peculiar window through which natural light streams. There is a thin black line around the room at eye level. There is a scrim that cuts the room into two spaces. It is hung from the ceiling and, due to changing light and time of day, appears alternately to be transparent and opaque. Many viewers do not "get it"- when they enter some say, "Oh, an empty room." Critics do not understand the display referring to it as a stunt or a nihilistic gesture. Of course, to Irwin it is something entirely different - a way of portraying perception as the essential subject of art.

Irwin intends that viewers will experience a different world than was present before they entered. The room implicitly represents a journey to a...

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This section contains 192 words
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Buy the Seeing Is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees: A Life of Contemporary Artist Robert Irwin Study Guide
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