james turrell: a retrospective
los angeles county museum of art (LACMA), los angeles
now until april 6th, 2014

 

 

three james turrell exhibitions will be concurrently on view from coast to coast across the USA this summer. they are being hosted at the museum of fine arts houston; the solomon r. guggenheim museum, new york (see designboom’s preview of ‘aten reign’ here) and LACMA, los angeles, which is presenting the first major retrospective of turrell in america since 1985.

 

turrell’s practice began in the mid-1960s when he observed a beam of light emitted from a slide projector while sitting in the darkened hall of an art history lecture at pomona college. it was this moment that provoked him to ask ‘what if light wasn’t the tool that enabled people to see something else, but rather became the thing people look at?‘, and so his journey into changing people’s perception of light and space began.

james turrell retrospective at LACMA
james turrell, breathing light, 2013 | LED light into space | dimensions variable
los angeles county museum of art, purchased with funds provided by kayne griffin corcoran and the kayne foundation, M.2013.1
© james turrell | photo © florian holzherr (also main image)

 

 

‘james turrell: a retrospective’ is comprised of almost fifty works which range in scale from small drawings and models, to full ambient environments (as experienced with the 5,000-square-foot ‘ganzfeld’). displayed over two venues at LACMA (the 2nd floor of the broad contemporary art museum; and the east galleries of the lynda and stewart resnick exhibition pavilion), the show spans a 33,000-square-foot area and is a culmination of turrell’s architectural projects and his most known magnum opus, the in-progress ‘roden crater’.

james turrell retrospective at LACMA
james turrell, bridget’s bardo, 2009
ganzfeld | installation view at kunstmuseum wolfsburg, germany, 2009
© james turrell | photo © florian holzherr

 

 

the BCAM galleries document the early years of turrell’s artistic explorations, featuring many pieces completed at his mendota studio in santa monica from the mid-1960s to the early 1970s, a period in which he extensively explored light painting and performances. here, a range of full-room installations such as ‘key lime’ in which the illusion of walls are created through colored luminosity and architecture can also be experienced. the resnick pavilion offers visitors an in depth look at the ‘roden crater’ project which the artist has continued to develop for nearly four decades, and has seen him slowly transform an extinct volcano located in the high desert of arizona into an astronomical observatory and monumental artwork, providing one the opportunity to look at the open sky without the use of a telescope and experience some of his insights into human perception. the 2013 programs highlight the work of turrell’s remarkable career and the phenomena of his unmodulated fields of space and color, providing an extensive survey of the seminal artist’s achievements and his oeuvre.

james turrell retrospective at LACMA
james turrell, twilight epiphany, 2012
a james turrell skyspace, the suzanne deal booth centennial pavilion at rice university, houston, texas
© james turrell | photo © florian holzherr
see more about this project on designboom here

james turrell retrospective at LACMA
james turrell, twilight epiphany, 2012
a james turrell skyspace, the suzanne deal booth centennial pavilion at rice university, houston, texas
© james turrell | photo © florian holzherr
see more about this project on designboom here

james turrell retrospective at LACMA
james turrell, twilight epiphany, 2012
a james turrell skyspace, the suzanne deal booth centennial pavilion at rice university, houston, texas
© james turrell | photo © florian holzherr
see more about this project on designboom here