Widely recognized as one of the West Coast’s most important and critically acclaimed practitioners of conceptual and installation art, Ireland has taken the concept of art itself as one of his subjects. A self-described “post-discipline” artist, guided by Zen thought and postmodern aesthetics, Ireland moves fluidly from making small drawings to creating sculptures as large as houses. Freely incorporating anything within his conceptual or physical reach -- dirt, concrete, wire, and other everyday materials --his work is subtle, puzzling, and witty, and consistently challenges traditional definitions of art. His art has been viewed in terms of historical materialism, assessing his use of neglected materials and artifacts, as a process of cultural preservation.
Excerpts from: The Art of David Ireland: The Way Things Are by Karen Tsujimoto (author), Jennifer R Gross (author).
“You can’t make art by making art,” Ireland once said, and this statement can be understood as one of the guiding principles in his life and work. Sculptor, architect, installation artist, urban archeologist and much, much more, Ireland is impossible and unnecessary to label. Why label something that aspires to include most everything–or at least to not exclude the possibility of something? He went on to produce a body of work so idiosyncratic that it defies definition. Like his life, his working methodology is paradoxical, absurd, ironic and uniquely enriched by humor and humanity. He was deeply private but unfailingly generous iconoclast. His art practice, teaching, and wry philosophy have profoundly affected many.
Excerpts from: Touching Time And Space: A Portrait Of David Ireland by Betty Klausner. Foreword by Larry Thomas.
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