Coconino, from the Tall Glass series, 2007

Miami Beach 2014
Mixed Media
Glass and LED panel
325.0 x 215.0 x 60.0 (cm)
128.0 x 84.6 x 23.6 (inch)
Born in Los Angeles, California in 1943, for over half a century, the American artist James Turrell has worked directly with light and space to create artworks that engage the viewer with the limits and wonder of human perception. Turrell, an avid pilot who has logged over twelve thousand hours flying, considers the sky as his studio, material and canvas. New Yorker critic Calvin Tompkins writes, “His work is not about light, or a record of light; it is light — the physical presence of light made manifest in sensory form.” Informed by his training in perceptual psychology and a childhood fascination with light, Turrell began experimenting with light as a medium in southern California in the mid-1960’s. The Pasadena Art Museum mounted a one-man show of his Projection Pieces, created with high-intensity projectors and precisely modified spaces, in 1967. Mendota Stoppages, a series of light works created and exhibited in his Santa Monica studio, paired Projection Pieces with structural cuts in the building, creating apertures open to the light outside. These investigations aligned and mixed interior and exterior to lay the groundwork for the open sky spaces found in his later Skyspace, Tunnel and Crater artworks. Turrell’s work has been shown in many of the world’s most eminent museums and galleries, including most recently in major retrospectives at The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, L.A.; and the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow; Gagosian Gallery, London; and Pace Gallery, New York. The artist participated in the 54th Venice Biennale, 2011, and is the recipient of many awards such as the Smithsonian Archives of American Art Award 2013 and is a member of the American, National, and Belgium Academies of Arts and Letters. His work is included in the permanent collections of prominent museums the world over.