Robert Irwin: All the Rules Will Change is a major exhibition by one of the leading postwar American artists. It is the first museum survey devoted to Irwin’s work from the pivotal decade of the 1960s, as well as the first U.S. museum survey outside his native California since 1977.
The exhibition, whose title is drawn from the artist’s writings, consists of two parts. A historical survey chronicles the period from 1958 to 1970, during which Irwin moved from making small-scale abstract paintings to large acrylic discs and columns, before eventually abandoning working in a studio in favor of producing ephemeral installations of modest, unconventional materials, each made in response to the circumstances of a given site. The exhibition culminates in a major new commission in the Hirshhorn’s galleries, where Irwin will create an immersive installation in response to the museum’s distinctive architecture using what has become his signature medium, scrim.
Whether you go or not: Through its discussion of Irwin's paintings, sculptures, and his new site-conditioned scrim installation created in response to the Hirshhorn's distinctive round architecture, Robert Irwin: All the Rules Will Change immerses the reader in the artist's ground-breaking investigations into the nature of color,
light, and perception.