Robert Irwin (American, 1928-)
Not on View

When he began painting in the 1950s, Robert Irwin created art works that were large and gestural in the vein of his contemporaries associated with Abstract Expressionism. Yearning for something new, however, Irwin began to concentrate more on the perceptual aspects of the artwork itself, creating paintings, such as Untitled, that were less concerned with the physical properties of shape, line and color than his earlier work. In this canvas the artist places two lines at a distance so that the eye is unable to read them simultaneously. Irwin explained: “Your eye tends to become caught up in a sort of negative space…and you don’t really look at the lines at all.” His movement away from the material nature of the object to its perceptual effects led him to play a major role in the Southern California-based Light and Space movement of the 1970s.


  • Artist Name: Robert Irwin (American, 1928-)
  • Title: Untitled
  • Date: 1962-63
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 83-1/8 x 83-1/4 in. (211.1 x 211.5 cm)
  • Credit Line: Norton Simon Museum, Gift of the Artist
  • Accession Number: P.1969.096
  • Copyright: © 2017 Robert Irwin / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Reproduction, including downloading of ARS works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Object Information

Robert Irwin, gift 1969 to;
Pasadena Art Museum, Pasadena, 1969-1975;
Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, 1975.
  • Joyce, Julie et al., Pasadena to Santa Barbara: A Selected History of Art in Southern California, 1951-1969,2012, p. 129
  • Evelyn Hankins et al, Robert Irwin: All the Rules WIll Change,2016, Figure 13 p. #26
  • The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Robert Irwin, pp. 102, 192
  • Humblet, Claudine, La Nouvelle Abstraction Américaine 1950-1970,2003, Vol. III p. 1640
  • Goldstein, Anne, Diedrich Diederichsen, Jonathan Flatley, James Meyer, and Anne Rorimer, A Minimal Future? Art as Object 1958-1968, pp. 242, 449
  • Joyce, Julie et al., Pasadena to Santa Barbara: A Selected History of Art in Southern California, 1951-1969,2012, p. 90

Additional Artwork by Artist

Untitled Robert Irwin 1967-68
Untitled Robert Irwin 1968

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