At the beginning of his career, Kirk created non-representational sculptures combing linear forms with thin, parallel shapes. His intent was to suggest a sense of movement within a matrix of space. Kirk had been intrigued by the breakthroughs in 20th-centure physics that recognized both light and matter as particles in motion. Carrying this idea into his work, the artist looked for ways that the physicality of sculture could evoke energy and flux.
In the early abstract sculpture, White Action ’54, a right angle structure breaks its geometric form by sending an unexpected extension into space.
“I was interested in the kinds of structures found in nature I had some success with these abstractions but in the middle of it I decided, ‘this isn’t going anywhere.’ The things that interested me hadn’t changed. But the form was wrong. Finding the appropriate form for the ideas I want to express has been a constant search. I think that’s what you do as an artist.”