Artwork details

Swiss Maid
6 ft. single pin-14 tubes and 6 ft. double pin-1 tube, fluorescent light, colored gels
182,9 x 241,9 x 8,9 cm
Robert Irwin

Courtesy of Galerie Xippas. Photo: Philipp Scholz Rittermann.


Swiss Maid, 2015
Robert Irwin was a key player in the West Coast minimalist movement and was an active participant in the dynamic 1960s art scene that revolved around Ferus Gallery. Irwin was a trailblazer in the use of industrial materials and techniques in his artworks that explore light conditions and perception. Irwin’s artistic development demonstrated the transition from Finish Fetish, which focussed on the craftsmanlike perfection of the object and its pristine surface, to Light and Space environments, where the object itself was less relevant and focus was placed on perception and the experience of the space, light and colour of the environments. Swiss Maid is a typical example of Irwin’s use of fluorescent tubes, a material he began to work with in the 1970s. While some of the tubes are covered with coloured gels that produce a variety of light nuances, others are bare or turned off in order to create multiple optical effects featuring reflections, light and shadow. Irwin’s work addresses the objective of minimalist art to unite artwork, viewer and exhibition space into a single perceptual experience.


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