I’ll admit that going into this eye-opening documentary, I could not have told you who Robert Irwin was. I realized later though that I have seen his work. And now having watched this doc, I want to see/experience a lot more of it. Irwin is best known as being a pioneer in the installation art world, and what animates him is the question of perception. The reason to see this wonderful film is that it takes you inside the head of one of the most thoughtful and thought provoking artists alive.
Robert Irwin: A Desert of Pure Feeling is a pretty linear telling of Irwin’s life and the evolution of the way he approaches his art. But what is the most fascinating about him is his need to question everything about what he and we see/experience. Although he started out as a painter, he felt the need to take a deep dive into philosophy, and it had a profound effect on his work.
Trying to explain this documentary and the artist is just about impossible. The film will not be for everyone. A love of art and a willingness to let yourself question the very concept of it would be the requisite qualifications for an enjoyable viewing. I LOVED it! Needless to say, I have put a trip to Marfa, Texas on my “must do” list, as it is one of his latest projects. And a return trip to the Getty in Los Angeles, too.
In Theaters and On Amazon and Apple TV