new-york

James Turrell

PaceWildenstein 22

Since 1966, when he transformed his Santa Monica studio into an artwork by meticulously arranging natural and artificial light sources, James Turrell has made works composed almost exclusively of light cast on, around, and into architectural spaces: open-air rooms for viewing the changing sky, darkened spaces into which light emanates through windowlike apertures, and large-scale walk-in environments. Descriptions of these works generally oscillate between metaphysical references, in which Turrell’s use of light is seen in terms of Platonic, supranatural illumination of eternal truths, and a uniquely American nostalgia in which his vision is tied to the iconic desert vistas of the Southwest, where he now makes his home. According to Turrell, however, his art does not represent—rather, it stands only for itself, for light in its own right, and is, in turn, less about what lies before our

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the February 2004 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.