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Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber Ocula Report Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber 15 Mar 2019 : Stephanie Bailey for Ocula

In Meiro Koizumi's three-channel video installation, The Angels of Testimony (2019), the central frame features an interview with Hajime Kondo about his time as a solider of the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The conversation centres on war crimes perpetrated in China, including the beheading of Chinese prisoners for...

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Diana Campbell Betancourt Ocula Conversation Diana Campbell Betancourt

Diana Campbell Betancourt is a curator working predominantly across South and Southeast Asia. Since 2013 she has been the founding artistic director of the Samdani Art Foundation and chief curator of the Dhaka Art Summit in Dhaka, Bangladesh, a transnational art event that has grown in size and scale ever since its first edition in 2012. Backed by...

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Chinternet Ugly at Manchester’s Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art Ocula Report Chinternet Ugly at Manchester’s Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art 7 Mar 2019 : Mike Pinnington for Ocula

China, home to 802 million internet users, is subject to sophisticated online censorship. This shrouded state of affairs, unsurprisingly perhaps, serves to reinforce stereotypes around conformity elsewhere. Any realm, digital or otherwise, subject to such strict scrutiny must necessarily be bland and uncritical, right? I was mulling over such...

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James Turrell

b. 1943, USA

James Turrell was born in Los Angeles in 1943. His undergraduate studies at Pomona College focused on psychology and mathematics; only later, in graduate school, did he pursue art, receiving an MFA from the Claremont Graduate School in Claremont, California. Turrell’s work involves explorations in light and space that speak to viewers without words, impacting the eye, body, and mind with the force of a spiritual awakening.
“I want to create an atmosphere that can be consciously plumbed with seeing,” says the artist,
“like the wordless thought that comes from looking in a fire.”
Informed by his studies in perceptual psychology and optical illusions, Turrell’s work allows us to see ourselves “seeing.” Whether harnessing the light at sunset or transforming the glow of a television set into a fluctuating portal, Turrell’s art places viewers in a realm of pure experience.

Situated near the Grand Canyon and Arizona’s Painted Desert is Roden Crater, an extinct volcano the artist has been transforming into a celestial observatory for the past thirty years. Working with cosmological phenomena that have interested man since the dawn of civilization and have prompted responses such as Stonehenge and the Mayan calendar, Turrell’s crater brings the heavens down to earth, linking the actions of people with the movements of planets and distant galaxies. His fascination with the phenomena of light is ultimately connected to a very personal, inward search for mankind’s place in the universe. Influenced by his Quaker faith, which he characterizes as having a “straightforward, strict presentation of the sublime,” Turrell’s art prompts greater self-awareness through a similar discipline of silent contemplation, patience, and meditation. His ethereal installations enlist the common properties of light to communicate feelings of transcendence and the divine.

Turrell's work is represented in numerous public collections including the Tate Modern, London; the Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the de Young Museum, San Francisco; the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis; the Israel Museum, Jerusalem; and Hansol Museum, Wonju, Verese (Italy) Panza Foundation.

Featured Artworks

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Deep Sky by James Turrell contemporary artwork James TurrellDeep Sky, 1984 Aquatint etching on Rives BFK paper
Galería OMR
Small Glass by James Turrell contemporary artwork James TurrellSmall Glass, 2017 L.E.D. light, etched glass and shallow space
49.8 x 69.9 cm
Kayne Griffin Corcoran
VARDA (03) by James Turrell contemporary artwork James TurrellVARDA (03), 2017 LED light, etched glass, shallow space
180.3 x 134.6 cm
Pace Gallery
Untitled (XXXIII A) by James Turrell contemporary artwork James TurrellUntitled (XXXIII A), 2015 Reflection hologram
56.2 x 46.4 x 2.5 cm
Pace Gallery
Untitled (XXXII G) by James Turrell contemporary artwork James TurrellUntitled (XXXII G), 2014 Reflection hologram
63.2 x 44.9 x 2.5 cm
Pace Gallery
Untitled (XIV C) by James Turrell contemporary artwork James TurrellUntitled (XIV C), 2005 Reflection hologram
58.4 x 43.2 cm
Pace Gallery
Elliptical Glass: KEPLER 442 b by James Turrell contemporary artwork James TurrellElliptical Glass: KEPLER 442 b, 2018 Glass, computerised LED (r, g, b, y, w), steel, corian
240.6 x 135 x 37 cm
Galería OMR
Suite from Aten Reign by James Turrell contemporary artwork James TurrellSuite from Aten Reign, 2014–2015 Ukiyo-e Japanese style woodcut and relief
71.1 x 50.8 cm (incl frame)
Kayne Griffin Corcoran

Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, James Turrell, James Turrell at Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Los Angeles
Closed
24 May–25 August 2018 James Turrell James Turrell Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Los Angeles
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Show, The Queen Falls. at Galería OMR, Mexico City
Closed
7 February–25 March 2017 Group Show The Queen Falls. Galería OMR, Mexico City
Contemporary art exhibition, James Turrell, Double Stuck, 1970 at Galería OMR, Mexico City
Closed
4 February–15 March 2014 James Turrell Double Stuck, 1970 Galería OMR, Mexico City

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

Berlin, Boners and Brecht Ocula Report Berlin, Boners and Brecht 7 Jun 2016 : Diana d'Arenberg for Ocula

Apparently my timing sucks. One week too late for Berlin Gallery Weekend, and one month too early for the Berlin Biennale. ‘You should have been here last weekend for Berlin Gallery Weekend!’ a Berliner friend exclaimed. ‘Everyone was having orgies at Soho House! It was the best art world networking!’ I shifted...

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In Related Press

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GOMA Finally Switches On its Massive James Turrell Light Installation Related Press GOMA Finally Switches On its Massive James Turrell Light Installation Broadsheet : 14 July 2018

The long-awaited James Turrell light installation has finally launched at Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art.The gallery threw the switch on the Night Life 2018 last night. It will now illuminate the eastern and southern façades of GOMA every evening, with shifting patterns of coloured light from sunset to midnight.

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MASS MoCA: It’s a Site for All Eyes Related Press MASS MoCA: It’s a Site for All Eyes The New York Times : 15 June 2017

MASS MoCA, the vast, multibuilding museum of contemporary art here, is a weird and wonderful place. For one, the dominance of brick walls, wood floors, big windows and frequent columns of its repurposed 19th-century factory buildings is the apotheosis of SoHo, whose small-industry loft spaces were taken over by commercial art galleries in the...

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A Journey Through James Turrell’s Disorienting World at the Newly Expanded MASS MoCA Related Press A Journey Through James Turrell’s Disorienting World at the Newly Expanded MASS MoCA Hyperallergic : 14 June 2017

Light can be bright and dull, clear and murky, or velvety and abrasive. In James Turrell's Perfectly Clear (1991), the viewer is subjected to an electromagnetic storm, a cascade of colors: rose, magenta, turquoise. Here, the medium is light, or, rather, the human optical-neurological apparatus that apprehends light. After putting on shoe covers,...

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A Museum Where Giant Art Has Room to Breathe Related Press A Museum Where Giant Art Has Room to Breathe The New York Times : 26 May 2017

The master plan for MASS MoCA in 1986 was a wildly ambitious dream: to simultaneously rehabilitate all 28 buildings of a shuttered 19th-century factory in this depressed Berkshire County town for the long-term display of monumental art installations.

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In Related Video

James Turrell: Gathered Sky Related Video & Audio James Turrell: Gathered Sky NOWNESS / 23 September 2014 : 9 December 2014

An introspective James Turrell invites you to surrender under the immateriality of light with "Gathered Sky," a spellbinding permanent installation in Beijing's Temple Hotel. Three decades after turning the Roden Crater, an extinct volcano in Arizona, into a celestial work of art that was recently exhibited at the Guggenheim and Los...

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