Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Independence Avenue at 7th Street, SW
2nd Level, Main Galleries Floor Plan
The first museum exhibition to focus exclusively on Irwin’s (American, b. Long Beach, California, 1928) extraordinary trajectory between 1958 and 1970 charts the artist’s remarkable course from the early small abstractions and larger “pick-up stick” paintings, through the line paintings and dot paintings, into the aluminum and acrylic discs, the acrylic columns, and, finally, to ephemeral installations that responded to the specific circumstances of a given site. By bringing together multiple examples of each painting series alongside later sculptural artworks, including key works from the Hirshhorn’s collection, this exhibition offers a rare opportunity to reconsider Irwin’s process of meticulously working through aesthetic and phenomenological issues, which culminated in the artist abandoning both the medium of painting and a traditional studio practice.