UNLV Visiting Artist Lecture Series 2015: Robert Irwin December 10

The Central Garden at The Getty Center by installation artist Robert Irwin. Pano photo: Ed Fuentes
The Central Garden at The Getty Center by installation artist Robert Irwin. Pano photo: Ed Fuentes

NOTE: Robert Irwin’s talk is now December 10 at 6 p.m.

At the Getty Center, the Central Garden by Robert Irwin is a living exhibition on how site-specific sculpture crosses over to landscaping and architecture. It is also a starting point for what defines art. From the Getty’s post for children planning to visit the grounds.

Did you know that a garden can be a work of art? The Central Garden at the Getty Center was designed by artist Robert Irwin. He had to think like an artist when he put the garden together.

Like a painter, Irwin experimented with colors. For example, should a plant with bright orange blossoms go behind a dark purple bush, or would it look better next to flaming red roses?

Like a sculptor, Irwin looked for plants with interesting shapes. He chose plants with squiggly corkscrew stems, huge flowers shaped like trumpets, and other fun shapes.

Like a photographer, Irwin had to take into account how the sun shifts and changes the appearance of things at different times of the day.
© Robert Irwin

More from the UNLV Website:

The Department of Art and the Barrick Museum welcome artist Robert Irwin as a guest speaker of the 2015 UNLV Visiting Artist Lecture Series. Irwin will focus the discussion on the Central Garden, currently on view at the Getty Museum.

The Central Garden, created by artist Robert Irwin, lies at the heart of the Getty Center. The 134,000-square-foot design features a natural ravine and tree-lined walkway that leads the visitor through an extraordinary experience of sights, sounds, and scents.

The walkway traverses a stream that winds through a variety of plants and gradually descends to a plaza where bougainvillea arbors provide scale and a sense of intimacy. Continuing through the plaza, the stream cascades over a stone waterfall or “chadar,” into a pool with a floating maze of azaleas. Specialty gardens encircle the pool. All of the foliage and materials of the garden have been selected to accentuate the interplay of light, color, and reflection.

Irwin began planning the Central Garden in 1992, as a key part of the Getty Center project. Since the Center opened in 1997, the Central Garden has evolved as its plants have grown and been trimmed. New plants are constantly being added to the palette. Irwin’s statement “Always changing, never twice the same” is carved into the plaza floor, reminding visitors of the ever-changing nature of this living work of art.

The UNLV Visiting Artists Lecture Series features a diverse array of some of the most compelling artists and thinkers working in the art world today. This important program brings both established and emerging artists to campus to discuss their work in public lectures and to offer individual critiques to our BFA and MFA students. This program has established itself as an invaluable resource for UNLV students and the public alike. The primary mission of the Visiting Artists Lecture Series is to educate, inspire and foster a greater understanding and appreciation of contemporary art through visual presentations and discourse.



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