Wednesday, November 29, 2023

James Turrell: Of Light & Space


As artists are quick to point out, the presence of light is very important. That's never more so than for an artist who is described as a "sculptor of light." The artist is James Turrell (1943-), who was born in Los Angeles and received his education there. 



Turrell classes included astronomy and perceptual psychology, which explains his interest in light and space. Working with a high-intensity projectors as light source some 55 years ago, he produced the first of his Projection Pieces. It was from that experiment onward when he participated with engineers, physiologists, and artists to study the "Ganzfeld Effect," or perceptual deprivation.

 By 1967, Turrell had his first exhibit at the Pasadena Art Museum. It was an essay in a magazine about the exhibit that would put Turrell in the forefront of the Light & Space movement.

 Not only has Turrell have 22 permanent installments in prestigious galleries across the United States, but he also continues his development of the Roden Crater Project, which is a 400,000 year old cinder-cone volcano in Arizona's  Painted Desert region. He's been able to build his
"naked-eye observatory" from a Guggenheim Fellowship Award and more recently from a MacArthur Fellowship Grant.



(This man of high accomplishment in the art of light and space movement is certainly a pioneer. I have to admit that every photo of him with white hair and beard puts me in mind of the actor, Monty Woolley (1888-1963). Anybody else?)

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