Resonant Thoughts: Robert Irwin On Beauty, Perception, And Framing

“Beauty is all around you. You open your eyes in the morning, the world is totally formed. You haven’t done anything other than be. It’s all around you. The whole idea is being able to recognize it, and pay attention to it, articulate it.”

I’m trying to make the most beautiful thing and knock your socks off. That’s it, that’s all.”

(L.A. Times)

“The idea of containing within a frame all of our concepts and ideas and attitudes and sense of beauty and everything—that’s an amazing concept. It’s a highly stylized and learned logic. It’s brilliant—it’s lasted for centuries and is in fact true; it’s one of the ways in which we process information. But that’s not how we see at all. We don’t see in frames. Essentially, seeing is—it’s not only here, but all the way around us. It’s like we’re within an envelope of our senses and we’re being fed information at every moment by all of our senses. That’s actually how we perceive. And at some point, if you take perception as a position, the idea of a frame looks like a highly stylized, learned logic. We’re addicted to it—so much so that in an instant, we can read things on a screen, we can immediately understand and even put emotion into it.”


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