Fluorescent lamps, electrical tape and coloured gels
182,9 x 437,5 x 11,4 cm
© 2019, ProLitteris, Zurich
Image copyright Philipp Scholz RittermannI started to play with light, because I had this idea or sudden realisation that it wasn't about the physicality of the thing, but it is about the energy of it. The material became light, and the light is pure energy.
Vertical bands of colour pulsate as we look at this piece. Hues of blue and yellow predominate among sharp poles of white light. Irwin’s main subject matter is light, influenced by his growing up among the landscape of large skies and open expanses of the American west coast.
While he began his career as a painter, he soon became a leading member of the Los Angeles Light and Space art movement. "I started to play with light because I had this idea or sudden realisation that it wasn’t about the physicality of the thing, but the energy of it. The material became light, and the light is pure energy."
Irwin varies the effect of the light by running variously sized stripes of gels down the bulbs surfaces, as well as having different gaps between them. It is a sensory experience that is always different when viewed.