Robert Irwin “Dot Paintings” / knives, Coca Cola, etc.
(In 1965, two of Irwin’s “Dot Paintings” were damaged by visitors while on view at the Sao Paulo Bienal.
As Irwin later described, “I don’t really know what took place, but I was told subsequently that both the dot paintings I had in the show were destroyed within the first day. People attacked them, they cut them with knives, they threw things at them, they spit on them. I don’t know what all was on them when they got back; it looked like Coca Cola. And they marked them all up - not just one person, apparently, but a number, because there were all these different gestures…I really don’t know [what instigated the attacks]. I suppose the paintings were perceived as a very minimal kind of expression, and for some reason during that period of time, that really angered people…I guess they somehow intuitively recognized it as an attack on a lot of the values they held. It threatened them.”)