James Turrell, Missed Approach, 1990, plaster, wood, 15 1⁄2 × 33 3⁄4 × 33 3⁄4".

James Turrell

Kayne Griffin Corcoran

It was in Los Angeles that James Turrell first recognized the kinds of perceptual acuity possible in smoggy, irradiated air. His first light projects—experiments with incandescence filtering through jerry-rigged apertures in his Santa Monica studio in 1966—were harbingers of his subsequent tests of the fugitive, natural environment in increasingly architectural terms. His long-standing embrace by the city is understandable, but his apotheosis will unfold elsewhere: in an extinct volcano in the Painted Desert northeast of Flagstaff, Arizona, for the forty-year project of Roden Crater, a celestial-observatory complex. In his most recent presentation at Kayne Griffin Corcoran (his seventh with the gallery), Turrell was framed not as a conjurer of immaterial experience but as a builder or, at minimum, a designer of structures in support of this ambition. Appropriately set in the

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 October 2018 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

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