Robert Irwin – Light and Space (Kraftwerk Berlin)
From December 5th on, LAS will present Light and Space (Kraftwerk Berlin), a major site-specific installation at Kraftwerk Berlin by pioneering American artist Robert Irwin (b. 1928, Long Beach). Commissioned by LAS, the installation will be the largest work by Irwin to be exhibited in Europe to date and will form part of the artist’s Light and Space series.
Over his prolific, six-decade career, Irwin has become best known for site-conditioned artworks that use the effects of light to explore human perception and use of space. An early proponent of site-specific installations, he creates large-scale experiential works, using minimal means that challenge our perceptions and reimagine our environments. For Light and Space (Kraftwerk Berlin) Irwin intervenes in the impressive, industrialist architecture of Kraftwerk Berlin, taking over the entire space to fully immerse visitors in his ongoing experiments with light and space.
Irwin is a seminal figure of Light and Space, a loosely affiliated art movement, which originated in southern California in the 1960s as part of the radical cultural scene that was emerging on America’s West Coast over that period and that is characterised by its interdisciplinary approach, convergence of art and science and stepping away
from object-centric practices. From the 1970s onwards, Irwin favoured a strictly site-specific approach in which he perceived art as closely shaped by the conditions of the surrounding space. It was at this time that Irwin began to work more extensively with fluorescent light. It is this core tenet of his practice, favouring experiential relationships with built environments, that Irwin brings to Berlin’s former power station.
Irwin’s Light and Space series was first conceived in 2007 and commonly features fluorescent light tubes arranged in rhythmic yet undecipherable abstract patterns on white walls with high finishes. Light and Space (Kraftwerk Berlin) uses blue fluorescent lights for the first time, in combination with the artist’s traditional white, positioned on a monumental freestanding wall measuring 16 x 16 metres. In another diversion from Irwin’s usual practice, Light and Space (Kraftwerk Berlin) is double-sided, making use of both sides of the freestanding wall. This new installation will fill the former power station with light, prompting visitors to interrogate the very notion of perception itself.
Robert Irwin: Light and Space (Kraftwerk Berlin), commissioned by LAS (Light Art Space)
Köpenicker Straße 70