ART STUFF on a train # 12: ‘ What About The Ceiling?' - FAD Magazine

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ART STUFF on a train # 12: ‘ What About The Ceiling?’


04_IRWIN_RYB_7217-25_v02_JPEGWho’s afraid of Red, Yellow & Blue³ III
Painters make little use of the floor, which they tend to leave to sculptors, and also seem reluctant to use the ceiling, despite the lack of competition and the historical example of Michelangelo. Step forward Robert Irwin: not only is it good to see Pace give a debut London solo show (to Aug 17) to Californian master of perceptual effects, and to see the locally-specific 47 tube light work Piccadilly, it’s also refreshing to see that the whole room installation Who’s afraid of Red, Yellow & Blue³ III consists of paintings which fully cover the floor and ceiling, while the walls remain bare. I struggle to think of another example of this, save Irwin’s previous (San Diego, 2007) expansion of the iconic 1969-70 Barnett Newman painting. Who’s afraid of Red, Yellow & Blue³ III covers 1,400 square feet of floor and a matching amount of ceiling with brilliantly reflective lacquer and polyurethane paint on six honeycomb aluminium panels, arranged so that matching colours reflect each other. At the crowded opening the many movements around and through the panels (you can’t walk on them) made for a busily changeable scene. When I returned later, in contrast, I was able to appreciate its more meditative and inwardly reflective side, when the windows mirrored in the ceiling and floor came fully into their own.





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