James Turrell

A Tribute to the Modern-Day Master of Light and Space

By: Rick Hess, DISD

James Turrell, modern day master of light and space, has been working with colored light and space for nearly 50 years. His extensive training in perceptual psychology has made him an expert in the field, and he has work all over the world illustrating the power light has on the human condition. His art has received multiple awards and recognition internationally and he remains one of the most respected artists of the century. “I make spaces that apprehend light for our perception, and in some ways gather it, or seem to hold it…my work is more about your seeing than it is about my seeing, although it is a product of my seeing.”- James Turrell

This post is a tribute to James Turrell and goes through some of his most extensive pieces from the 1960’s through today. From Afrum I (1967), which creates an illusion of three dimensional light, to Aten Reign (2013), which redefines the interior of New York’s Guggenheim Museum, these images reveal Turrell’s amazing ability to transform space and light as we know it while tapping into our subconscious minds and allowing us to feel and breathe his spaces.

Afrum I (White), 1967, exhibit location varies

Afrum I (White), 1967, exhibit location varies

Raemar Pink White, 1969, LACMA, Los Angeles, California, USA

Raemar Pink White, 1969, LACMA, Los Angeles, California, USA

Wedgework V, 1974, exhibit location varies

Wedgework V, 1974, exhibit location varies

Meeting, 1986, P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, Queens, New York City, New York, USA

Meeting, 1986, P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, Queens, New York City, New York, USA

Second Meeting, 1989, Einstein Residence, Brentwood, California, USA

Second Meeting, 1989, Einstein Residence, Brentwood, California, USA

The Inner Way, 1999, Munich, Germany (Private)

The Inner Way, 1999, Munich, Germany (Private)

The Light Inside, 1999, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Houston, Texas, USA

The Light Inside, 1999, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Texas, USA

Light Shaft II, 2003, Dresdner Bank AG, Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurt, Germany

Light Shaft II, 2003, Dresdner Bank AG, Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurt, Germany

Above Horizon, 2004, Owned by James Goldstein, Beverly Hills, California, USA

Above Horizon, 2004, Owned by James Goldstein, Beverly Hills, California, USA

Roden Crater, 2006, Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

Roden Crater, 2006, Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

Dividing the Light, 2007, Pomona College, Claremont, California, USA

Dividing the Light, 2007, Pomona College, Claremont, California, USA

Dhatu, 2010, Gagosian Gallery, Britannia Street, London, UK

Dhatu, 2010, Gagosian Gallery, Britannia Street, London, UK

Twilight Epiphany, 2012, Rice University, Houston, Texas, USA

Twilight Epiphany, 2012, Rice University, Houston, Texas, USA

Within Without, 2012, Australian Garden, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, AU

Within Without, 2012, Australian Garden, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, AU

Breathing Light, 2013, LACMA, Los Angeles, California, USA

Breathing Light, 2013, LACMA, Los Angeles, California, USA

Aten Reign, 2013, Guggenheim Museum, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA

Aten Reign, 2013, Guggenheim Museum, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA

James Turrell’s work is viewed by architects, interior designers and artists worldwide, and neuroscientists use his work as a platform in studying how light and color effect our experiences. His creative work inspires interior design ideas that dig deep into how space is actually perceived and his work undoubtedly leaves one with a sensational journey through light, color and space.

Sources
http://jamesturrell.com/artworks/by-date/
http://talkcontract.contractdesign.com/2013/07/turrells-work-shines-from-coast-to-coast.html
http://jamesturrell.com/artworks/by-date/
http://www.reveries.com/2013/06/aten-reign/
http://www.gwarlingo.com/2013/james-turrell-at-the-guggenheim/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSjMo5jVUjo
http://collabcubed.com/2011/07/13/james-turrell-within-without/
http://magazine.saatchionline.com/top-10-shows/rebecca-geldard%E2%80%99s-top-10-shows-in-london-novdec-2010
http://randallmurrow.com/twilight-epiphany-skyspace-turrell-houston/
http://thewildmagazine.com/blog/james-turrells-aten-reign-at-the-guggenheim/
http://theperceptionalist.com/tag/james-turrell/
http://www.gwarlingo.com/2013/james-turrell-at-the-guggenheim/
http://www.wmagazine.com/culture/art-and-design/2013/06/james-turrell-brings-new-glow-to-las-vegas/

2 Comments

  1. Thank you very much, Rick, for this tour of the works of this poet of light. It was really interesting to see Turrell’s journey from Afrum 1 to Aten Reign. Above Horizon is particularly striking. Here in Austin we have been celebrating the artist’s May 6th birthday at his Skyspace at the University of Texas for several years. Please join us next year!

    • Thank you for the comment Darrel. James Turrell has been a huge inspiration for many years. I would absolutely love to join you next year and celebrate at his Skyspace, if I am able to. Thanks for following our Blog and please subscribe for future posts.

      Cheers,
      Rick Hess

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