Since the 1960s, James Turrell has created an expansive body of work that offers profound revelations about perception and the materiality of light. With their refined formal language and quiet, almost reverential atmospheres, his installations celebrate the optical and emotional effects of luminosity.
Turrell emerged as one of the foremost artists associated with what is known as the Light and Space movement, which began in Southern California in the mid-1960s. Building on his early research into sensory deprivation (particularly the Ganzfeld effect, in which viewersexperience disorienting, unmodulated fields of color), his art encourages a state of reflexive vision that he calls “seeing yourself seeing,” wherein we become aware of the function of our own senses and of light as a tangible substance. These perceptual concerns are coupled with a deep commitment to the natural world and an interest in orienting his work around celestial events.
Turrell’s kinesthetic art is an invitation to experience energy in relation to light, sound, wind, and the canvas of a changing sky by quieting the mind and observing. Opening our senses and our consciousness to the world around and within us, while lying on a bench or the floor to experience the sky, allows and even encourages a transformation of one’s perception.
Wedgework: the use of projected light creates an illusion of walls or barriers.
Corner Shallow Space: is created in a convex corner; the light creates an illusion of a three dimensional object.
Turell’s transforming light installations encourage the movement and realisation of energy, of dynamic molecules, and the give and take of this seemingly innocuous hole to the sky gives a chance to pause, to listen, to feel and breathe, and yes, to see.