When you think of seeing art your first instinct is probably to head to Seattle Art Museum or another local gallery. But before you do that you should consider heading to the University of Washington because they happen to have a pretty important piece that you probably didn’t even know existed. We’re talking about Robert Irwin’s 9 Spaces 9 Trees.
Now if you don’t know anything about California artist Robert Irwin, we definitely need to warn you, he’s pretty much the epitome of a minimalist. In fact, early on and throughout his career, people have struggled with his art and how, well, minimal it is. However, his site-specific installations are all about pushing the boundaries of art and perception which means you should take your time when visiting this piece.
9 Spaces 9 Trees was originally created for the rooftop plaza of the City of Seattle’s Public Safety Building in 1983. However, it needed to removed in 2003 and was relocated and reenvisioned for the University of Washington campus. What is left behind are 9 spaces that are both private and public depending on the angle at which you view them. The maze-like structure creates “a sense of movement and rippled patterns” as light passes through the fence and trees. Creating layers of meaning in the spaces which can feel both comforting and claustrophobic.
Feeling confused? Intrigued? Well, we recommend taking a trip to campus to view this piece for yourself. It’s free and a great way to see art that probably didn’t even know existed and might otherwise pass by. Remember if you do go, take your time with this one because simply walking in and out probably won’t do much for you.
Where: University of Washington, East of the Henry Art Gallery, near the Odegaard Undergraduate Library