Robert Irwin, Scrim veil—Black rectangle—Natural light, 1977, cloth, metal, wood. Installation view, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Photo: Warren Silverman.

New York

“Robert Irwin: Scrim Veil—Black Rectangle—Natural Light (1977)”

Whitney Museum of American Art
99 Gansevoort Street
June 27–September 1

Curated by Donna De Salvo

Scrim veil—Black rectangle—Natural light, a work Robert Irwin specifically configured for the fourth floor of the Whitney’s Marcel Breuer building on the occasion of his 1977 retrospective, will be reinstalled, after thirty-five years of dormancy within the museum’s collection, along with a group of related drawings and photographs. This piece by the Light and Space artist is a reminder of how material his site-conditioned installations can be. Essential to the work is a length of scrim bisecting the entire gallery—a semitransparent fabric lit by the space’s distinctive trapezoidal window. As in most of Irwin’s installations, physical properties turn into catalysts that amplify and modulate the viewer’s perception of the interior. Some will get a chance to revisit this work, while others will encounter it for the first time—which will likely be their last, as the museum is scheduled to move out of its landmark building
in 2015.