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The Summer of James Turrell '65: Profiles, Reviews and Information About His Museum Exhibitions

"Dividing the Light" (2007), a Skyspace by James Turrell '65 at Pomona College

"Dividing the Light" (2007), a Skyspace by James Turrell '65 at Pomona College

The work of artist James Turrell '65 is the talk of the art world this summer, with major exhibitions in three of the four largest U.S. cities: Los Angeles, New York City and Houston, and the opening of a new Ganzfeld in Las Vegas. Meanwhile, his Skyspace at Pomona remains quietly open, a unique opportunity for the public to experience Turrell's work.

During this summer of Turrell, the artist has been profiled in several major publications. Below is a abridged list of profiles, reviews, informational links and museum show information links about Turrell, Roden Crater and his three landmark exhibitions.

At Pomona College

Skyspace at Pomona College

Information on how to visit "Dividing the Light," the only publicly accessible Turrell Skyspace in Southern California.

Pomona College Magazine: The Summer of Turrell

While "Dividing the Light," Turrell’s Skyspace at Pomona College, continues to attract students, alumni and visitors to Draper Courtyard, celebrations of his work are popping up from coast to coast. 

Profiles

The New York Times: How James Turrell Knocked the Art World Off Its Feet

The day he spotted Roden Crater, he knew it was the one. The land wasn’t for sale, but he persuaded the owner to let it go, and soon he had set up camp at the base of his own private volcano. By day, he traipsed the surface with a pile of surveying equipment, drawing topographic maps to guide his work. At night, he lay on the top and studied the stars. He tried to imagine how he would bring their light inside the mountain.

The New York Times: Behind the Cover Story: Wil Hylton on James Turrell's Magic

"I’m amazed by the gap between his materials and his effect. When a piece is going up, all you see is crude construction — a bunch of guys framing walls, hanging drywall, mudding and sanding, that kind of thing. At the end, it’s just a big, white, empty room. Nothing very special. But then the lights come on, and the most accurate word is probably “magic.” That’s what it feels like. The walls instantly vanish and you’re standing there in the gloaming light, completely alone, with triangles and cubes floating around you, and the darkness just washing through you, and the empty room is gone. You’ve passed through the looking glass."

L.A. Times: James Turrell Shapes Perceptions

"You could say I'm a mound builder: I make things that take you up into the sky. But it's not about the landforms," said Turrell, known as a pioneering Light and Space artist as opposed to an earthworks artist like Robert Smithson or Michael Heizer. "I'm working to bring celestial objects like the sun and moon into the spaces that we inhabit."

Houston Chronicle: James Turrell: An Enlightened Approach to Art

Turrell has done more than anyone in history to help us experience light as a pure force - altering our perception of reality with meticulously built enclosed installations and more than 75 sky spaces that expose a realm of celestial magic not dependent on telescopes.

Charlie Rose: James Turrell

On PBS, Charlie Rose interviews James Turrell about his show at the Guggenheim in New York.

Reviews

L.A. Times: The Light Through James Turrell's Eyes

In both works, the art finally exists within a viewer's eye, rather than outside it. Looking at an artwork gives way to being immersed within its perceptual gymnastics and, finally, seeing oneself see. Light, the essential ingredient for sight, is Turrell's principal medium. Spiritual perception is his art's aim. The ancient metaphor of light as the engine of enlightenment is conjured in a modern way.

The New York Times: New Light Fixture for a Famous Rotunda

James Turrell’s exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum will probably be the bliss-out environmental art hit of the summer. This is primarily because of the ravishing “Aten Reign,” an immense, elliptical, nearly hallucinatory play of light and color that makes brilliant use of the museum’s famed rotunda and ocular skylight. The latest site-specific effort from Mr. Turrell, “Aten Reign” is close to oxymoronic: a meditative spectacle.

The New Yorker: Seeing and Disbelieving

Imagine this summer’s show at the Guggenheim Museum as air-conditioning for the eye and, if you’re gamely susceptible, the soul. The show presents a number of works by James Turrell, the veteran wizard of installations that involve illusory effects of light, both natural and artificial.

Other News

Los Angeles Magazine: Toward the Light

James Turrell doesn't paint, sculpt, or shoot photographs. He plays with light. The Pasadena-born artist, who made his name in the 1960s and '70s by transforming an abandoned Santa Monica hotel into a blank screen for his natural light projections (Mendota Stoppages), currently has a massive retrospective at LACMA.

W Magazine: James Turrell Brings New Glow to Las Vegas

For decades Turrell has created meticulous environments where the interplay of light and space renders basic perception a transcendental experience. Monumentalized as a master of quietude and subtlety, his work is surprisingly at home in Sin City.

Exhibitions

Los Angeles County Museum of Art: James Turrell: A Retrospective

The first major Turrell retrospective survey gathers approximately 50 works spanning nearly five decades, including his early geometric light projections, prints and drawings, installations exploring sensory deprivation and seemingly unmodulated fields of colored light, and recent two-dimensional holograms. A section is also devoted to Turrell’s masterwork in process, Roden Crater. Through April 6, 2014. www.lacma.org

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston: James Turrell: The Light Inside

Titled after the museum’s iconic Turrell permanent installation "The Light Inside" (1999), and centered on the collection of additional work by the artist at the MFAH, the Houston exhibition makes several of the artist’s installations accessible to the public for the first time. Through Sept. 22, 2013. www.mfah.org

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum: James Turrell

Turrell’s first exhibition in a New York museum since 1980 focuses on the artist’s explorations of perception, light, color and space, with a special focus on the role of site-specificity in his practice. At its core is a major new project that recasts the Guggenheim rotunda as an enormous volume filled with shifting natural and artificial light. Through Sept. 25, 2013. www.guggenheim.org

More About James Turrell