Jennifer Lane’s Documentary on Artist Robert Irwin has Texas Premiere at SXSW

by Jessica Fuentes March 11, 2023

Next week marks the Texas premiere of A Desert of Pure Feeling, a documentary about the career of artist Robert Irwin. 

A designed poster for Jennifer Lane's documentary, "A Desert of Pure Feeling."

Poster for “A Desert of Pure Feeling” by Jennifer Lane.

The 90-minute film by director Jennifer Lane will debut as part of this year’s South-by-Southwest (SXSW) film festival in Austin. Ms. Lane is an artist and filmmaker who, along with her partner David Hollander, has co-produced films about a number of artists. She is the co-founder and co-director of CineMarfa, a film festival that brings artist-made and rare archival, experimental, documentary, and narrative films to West Texas.

The press release describes the film as, “an in-depth look at Irwin’s contributions to the history of art in the 20th and 21st centuries… investigat[ing] the philosophical and conceptual questions related to experience and subjectivity that have guided the artist’s work throughout his life.”

A photograph of pink sunlight shining through windows onto a white wall.

Robert Irwin, “untitled (dawn to dusk),” 2016. Permanent collection, the Chinati Foundation, Marfa, Texas. Photo by Alex Marks. © 2020 Robert Irwin / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Though he began his career as a painter, in the 1960s Mr. Irwin was a leading figure of the Los Angeles-based Light and Space movement. Mr. Irwin designed the Central Garden at the Getty Center, Los Angeles (1997); developed the master plan for Dia:Beacon (2003); and created a palm garden for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2010). In 2016, the Chinati Foundation opened the only permanent, freestanding structure conceived and designed as a complete artwork by Mr. Irwin. Notably, the Dallas-based Rachofsky Collection has three pieces by Mr. Irwin in its holdings, including a convex disc piece that is a fractional gift to the Dallas Museum of Art and a permanent site-specific land work in the front yard of the Rachofsky House. 

A photograph of a land art piece by Robert Irwin featuring four square angled planes of grass on the front lawn of a house.

Robert Irwin, “Tilted Planes,” 1999, earth, grass, and Cor-ten steel,720 x 720 inches. The Rachofsky Collection

Ms. Lane’s film will be screened at the Rollins Theatre at The Long Center on March 12 at 5:30 pm, and again at the Alamo Lamar A on March 14 at 9:15 pm. To learn more and to purchase tickets, visit the SXSW website.


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