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“First Light Series” 8 September - 29 1990 

Published In 

Peler Blum Edition. New York 


619 NORTH ALMONT DRIVE LOS ANGELES CA 90069 213 276 5424 FAX 2 13 276 7430 


APR 2 7 1384 


«—I Jiiu . l f LOS ANGELES CO-t<rv 



TELEPHONE: 213/658-6980 


FROM 7:00 TO 9:00PM 

exhibition: February 28 to march 31 . 1984 



C xfC' 


TELEPHONE: 213/392-4931 


FROM 8:00 - 10:00PM 

EXHIBITION : APRIL 9 - MAY 31, 1983 



JUL 1983 

wge ArjQEefe* bounty, 

r ci it. Ati-r- 

, m 0 &izb lL,\mes 


Between Blue 

January 23 through February 14, 1998 


1 1 3 CROSBY STREET NEW YORK 10012-3301 
212 925 4484 FAX 274 9525 





Friday January 7, 6 - 8 pm 


5 55 West 25th Street New York New York 1 000 1 
tel 212 807 1051 fax 212 8070642 




Opening Saturday 29 January 1994 

Reception 5 - 7 pm 

99 Greene Street New York 10012 

Telephone 212.431.3334 

Fax 212.966.9310 




Fundacion ”laCaixa” 

La Fundacion “la Caixa" 
tiene el honor de invitarle a visitar la exposicion 


en la que estara presente el artista 

el miercoles 11 de noviembre, entre las doce del mediodia y las ocho de la tarde, 
en la Sala de Exposiciones de la Fundacion “la Caixa”, Serrano, 60. 

Madrid, noviembre de 1992 

El caracter informal de esta inauguracion se debe a las especiales caracteristicas de la exposicion 
que no permite acoger a un gran numero de visitantes al mismo tiempo 


drawings + prints + prototypes 


Still Light 

suite of eight aquatints 

First Anaglyphs, Roden Crater 
suite of four photolithographs 

Roden Crater Field Kit 
a field guide to the 
Roden Crater 

Opening Thursday, April 4, 1991 
from 7 to 9 p. m. at 
Lisa Sette Gallery 
4142 North Marshall Way 
Scottsdale, Arizona 
telephone 602 990 7342 
facsimile 602 970 0825 



Roden Crater: 
Realizing a Vision 

Opening Thursday, March 10, 1994 
from 7 -9 p.m. at 

4142 North Marshall Way 
Scottsdale, Arizona 85251 U.S. A. 
telephone 602 990 7342 
facsimile 60 2 970 0825 




JULY 14-SEPTEMBER 10, 2005 



Galerie Isy Brachot 


Vernissage le jeudi 16 janvier 1992 de 19 a 21 h. 
Opening donderdag 16 januari 1992 van 19 tot 21 u. 

16.1.-28.3.1992 - Galerie Isy Brachot • Avenue Louise 64A • B-1050 Bruxelles • Louizalaan 64A • B-1050 Brussel - Tel: 32 2-511 05 25 • Fax: 32 2-514 33 35 

TURRELLj CTAf'l ers 

^ The Board of Trustees of The 
Museum of Contemporary Art 
cordially invite you to a recep¬ 
tion for Founders and Investors 
to preview exhibitions by Manny 
Farber and James Turrell. Satur¬ 
day, November 9, 1985. 7 to 10 
PM. # -laaiis 

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Untitled , photogravure from a 1636 woodcut, printed by James Turrell 
James Turrell, Untitled , aquatint, 1999 

Thomas Joshua Cooper, Lands End - The Arrival and Lizard - The Departure, 

two photogravures of works made during the total solar eclipse of the Sun on 11 August 1999 

also The Gazing Engine, cd, 1999, composition by Paul Schutze 

Edition 100 copies available, additional roman numerals l-X and 10 artists' proof copies. 
Hardback, bound in linen, presented in solander box, containing seperate original prints and cd. 
Signed and numbered by the artists. 

Designed by Peter B. Willberg and bound at Book Works. Price $1500. 

Please order from: 

First Floor 21 Cork Street London IX 1HB 

Tel +44(0)171-434 1318 Fax +44(0)171-434 1321 e-mail: 

James Turrell 

Early Light Works 

November 13, 2004 - February 12, 2005 

Reception for the artist 
Saturday, November 13, 2004 
7pm to 9pm 



2902 Nebraska Avenue Santa Monica California 90404 T: 310.586.6886 F: 310.586.6887 

James Turrell 

Early Light Works 

November 13, 2004 - February 12, 2005 

Griffin Contemporary is pleased to announce the upcoming exhibition of early light works and holograms by 
internationally acclaimed artist James Turrell. This will be his first solo show in Los Angeles since his exhibition 
at the Museum of Contemporary Art in 1985. 

James Turrell is known for his perception-altering, light and space installations, including Roden Crater, a 
monumental light observatory shaped from a volcano in the Arizona desert. Turrell has said that while he uses 
light as a material, the medium he works with is perception. Often our experiences with light are ones that we take 
for granted. We are surrounded by light but fail to relate to it as a property. Yet, as Turrell acknowledges, we 
physically depend on light to live, our psychological wellbeing depends on it, and we often speak of spirituality in 
terms of light. Turrell works with light in a way that allows us to really “see” it. 

In 1966, Turrell began experimenting with light in his Santa Monica studio, the Mendota Hotel. By covering the 
windows and only allowing prescribed amounts light from the street outside to come through the openings, Turrell 
created his first light projections. A few years later, he began using halogen projectors to beam light across a 
darkened room into a comer space. Two of these Cross-Comer Projections, Enzu Blue (1968) and Gard Red 
(1968), are included in this exhibition. From a distance the projected shape appeared solid, but as one moved 
closer the form would reveal itself to be just light on the wall with no three-dimensional quality at all. What 
Turrell calls “simple geometry” - using mathematical equations to shape light through apertures - can astound the 
senses, giving solidity to an ethereal material and allowing us to experience light in an extremely concentrated 

In the main gallery, Raemar , a Shallow Space Construction from 1969 will be on view. Light in these works 
becomes environmental rather than object-based. In Raemar , light from fluorescent bulbs emanates from behind a 
partition wall at the end of a walk-in space. The partition appears to float in light and the entire space is awash in 
color. Turrell speaks of his Shallow Space Constructions as reversing the illusion of his projection works. Instead 
of a two-dimensional space alluding to three, the light emanating from a three-dimensional space looked flat from 
a distance. 

Since 1972 Turrell has been transforming the Roden Crater, a natural volcano located in northern Arizona, into a 
large-scale artwork. The antecedents of Roden crater are the monuments of the ancient world, however, Turrell 
has taken full advantage of contemporary scientific knowledge of astronomy, physics and perception to create a 
structure that is truly of our time. Comprised of several sky spaces tunneled into the crater, the Roden Crater 
serves as an observatory from which to view the sky and celestial events and is the culmination of his career-long 
exploration of light. 

James Turrell was bom in 1943 in Los Angeles. Beginning with his first solo exhibitions at the Pasadena Art 
Museum in 1967 and the Stedelijk in 1976, James Turrell’s work has been the subject of over 140 solo exhibitions 
worldwide. He has received numerous awards in the arts including The John D. and Catherine T. Mac Arthur 
Foundation Fellowship in 1984. He currently resides in Flagstaff, Arizona. 


Third Stage Site Plan with 
Segmented Cross Section, ©1985 



DEC 1 8, 1987 
JUNE 1988 

L A N N A N 


New from Peter Blum Edition, New York 


April 9 - May 14, 1988 

First Class Mail 

U.S. Postage 

Chicago, Illinois 
Permit 7011 

Preview and Reception: 

Friday, April 8, 1988, 5 - 8 pm 

Mr. Maurice Tuchman, Curator 
Los Angeles County Museum 
5905 Wilshire Boulevard 
Los Angeles, CA 90036 


212 West Superior Street, Suite 503 
Chicago, Illinois 60610 
Telephone 312-337-4678 

Tuesday-Saturday, 10 am to 6 pm U.I..H It ! III! III II..H mi i.ii 



Deep Sky 

Portfolio of Seven Aquatints 

Published by Peter Blum Edition, New York 

February 16 - March 7,1985 

Preview and Reception 

Friday, February 15,1985, 5 to 8 pm 

Each portfolio will include a volume 
by Mario Diacono 


620 North Michigan Avenue 
Chicago, Illinois 60610 
Telephone 312-337-4678 

First Class Mail 
U.S. Postage 

Chicago, Illinois 
Permit 7011 

Mr. Maurice Tuchman 
Los Angeles County Museum 
5905 Wilshire Blvd. 

Los Angeles, CA 90036 


FEB M 1*5 




"DRAWINGS 1992" 





\ ?S u c T 

Please join us in celebrating our fourth 
anniversary with an exhibition of draw¬ 
ings by artist James Turrell. An opening 
reception will be held on Thursday, 
November 5 from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. 
The show will run through December 23. 
The gallery will be open Sundays from 
1:00 till 5:00 through the exhibition. 

James Turrell: Works 1967-1992 

will be showing at the Henry Art Gallery 
on the University of Washington campus 
through January 3, 1993. 


318 2ND 
AVE. S. 

WA 98104 


fd: - 

Howard Fox 

L.A.County Museum of Art 
5905 Wil shire Boulevard 
Los-- 'Angeles.CA 90036 



nn i 


HI-TEST' " 1 





24 RUE LOUISE WEISS 75013 PARIS TELEPHONE 01 45 83 71 90 FAX 01 45 70 91 30 






24 WEST 57TH STREET NEW YORK NEW YORK 10019 (212) 977-7160 







24 WEST 57TH STREET NEW YORK 10019 (212) 977-7160 


JAN 25 1985 


Los County Mus 

Maurice Tv.chman:Model 
5905 Wilshire Blyd 
Los Angeles CA ?00.o 



James Turrell 

A Permanent Installation 
at P.S.l 

By appointment only 
Please call: 

(718) 784-2084 or 
(212) 233-1440 

This installation was made 
possible in part through the 
generous support of the 
Department of Cultural 
Affairs, City of New York, 
Marian Goodman, George 
Waterman, Leo Castelli; 
Christophe de Menil, and 
Giuseppe Panzi di Biumo. 

i t PSA ' 

0 The Institute for 
Art and Urban 
Resources, Inc. 
46-01 21st Street 
Long Island City, 




M YNY- 7058 
Howard Fox 
LO Cty- Museum 
5905 Wilshire Flvd. 

Los ftnrjeles, CO 90038 

11 11 

Non-Profit Org. 
U.S. Postage 





AM DONNERSTAG, DEM 24. 9.1992, 18-21 UHR 

Weisser raum • 





Godt-Cleary Projects 

12 17 S. Main Street 
tel 702.452.2200 

Las Vegas, NV 89104 
fax 702.457.2201 



Opening First Friday July 1,2005 6 - 10 pm 

Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 6pm 

S0056t4504 55 

165 l!S5:PB85 982 2 0 

2 4 24 * 00.37° JUN 16 05 

0 2 9 4 MAILED FROM LAS VEGAS NV 8 9 1 1 9 

Howard Fox 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art 
5905 Wilshire Blvd. 

Los Angeles, CA 90036 


James Turrell Cycle 
Part II 

Up in Smoke 

Opening on Sunday, June 16, 1991, 11 a.m to 6 p.m 

June 16-September 14, 1991 

James Turrell 

Franz Gertsch 


Edition 2/91 Basel 

Booth No. 222. 173 

June 12-17, 1991 

Space Division Constructions 


Rectangular opening in partition wall 
Grolux color, peach-pink ultraviolet 

The opening is centered in a dividing 
wall 100 cm (39") above floor and 
165 cm (65") beneath ceiling. It 
measures h: w: 165 x 400 cm 
(5'5" x 13'). Thus a backspace - 
sensing space - is divided off the 
room entered by the observer. The 
measurements of the entire space 
are h: w: I: 367 x 900 x 1100 cm 
(12' x 29'7" x 37'). The dividing wall 
is placed 300 cm (10') from the rear 
wall. All measurements refer to the 
first realisation of the piece at 
Turske & Turske Gallery, Zurich. 

Only fluorescent grolux light fills the 

Up in Smoke 

sensing space. The balance is 
maintained by dimmed tungsten 
light in the viewer’s space which is 
directed outwards against the 
sidewalls, thus creating a Ganzfeld. 

The gallery is closed from July 22-August 20, 1991 

Turske & Turske 

Miihle Tiefenbrunnen, Seefeidstrasse 227/229, 8008 Zurich 
Teiefon 01 55 97 70, Fax 01 53 71 49 



TUMZLL. J times 

Turske & Turske 
Muhle Tiefenbrunnen 
Seefeldstrasse 227/229 
8008 Zurich 

Telefon 01 55 97 70, Fax 01 53 71 49 


8040 Zurich 

James Turrell 

Long Green Mr . 

Maurice Tuchmann 

Los Angeles County Museum 

5905 Wilshire Blvd. 

USA CA 90036 Los Angeles 

11. Dezember 1990 bis 30. Marz 1991 

Center On Contemporary Art 
29 January 1982 - 29 July 1982 

A publication of The Real Comet Press 

JAMES TURRELL • Four Light Installations 

100 copies, signed and numbered by the artist. Price: $100 
Signed exhibition catalogue which contains color slides, installation 
photographs, floor plan, artist’s working drawing and written 
materials including interviews with the artist and bibliography. 
Accompanied by signed cyanotype print of artist’s working drawing 
and enlargement of additional installation photographs. 

12” x 9” by 5/8” oblong, boxed, accompanied by tube. 

$100 postpaid in North America, $110 overseas. 

Washington residents add 6.5% sales tax. 

Payment in U.S. dollars must accompany order. 

Available from Art In Form, Box 2567, Seattle, Washington 98111. 

PHONE: (206) 623-6381 

Also available: exhibition catalogue only. 

$15.00 plus $1.50 postage; overseas add $5.00 for first class postage. 



The Real Comet Press, 932-18th Avenue East, Seattl e, Washington 981 I^q 

non-profit opg. 


, / paid 

j 5 East Pine Street Seattle, wa, 

Seattle 98122 permitno.iim 


NQv . ^ 1982 

ft £IJI ee ART 

AfO(b€l^> C0uvt<j ntoSev/yi oFAKi 
Maurice Tuchman 
5905 Wilshire Boulevard 
Los Angeles, CA 90036 


NOV U , 


r/l * £Uf. OF ART 


Private View 
Wednesday 7 April 
lpm - 8pm 
Admits two 

Hayward Gallery, London 
Open daily 10am - 6pm 
Tuesday and Wednesday until 8pm 
8 April-27 June 1993 
Closed 9 April and 3 May 

Also admits to Georgia O'Keeffe 
American and Modern 

This side 

James Turrell, Aerial view of Roden Crater , Arizona 
Photo: James Turrell and Dick Wiser 


James Turrell, Hover, 1983 
Fluorescent and natural light 
Collection Gerald Parkes 
Photo: Nance Calderwood 

Special Event 

James Turrell in Conversation with Mark Cousins 

Wednesday 7 April 1993, 2.00 - 3.00pm. Chelsfield Room, Level 5, Royal Festival Hall 

Tickets available through the Royal Festival Hall Box Office (071-928 8800) 

£2.00 (£1.50 concessions) per lecture or £3.50 (£2.00 concessions) for joint ticket with 
Georgia O’Keeffe lecture, 11.30-12.30pm. 





3 March to 23 April 2005 


Thursday, 3 March 2005 | 5.30 pm to 7.30 pm 


TEL 415.397.8114 FAX 415.397.8115 

hours | tues to fri 10.30-5.30 | sat 10.30-5 

Front: Beanie , 2002. Photo courtesy of the Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. 
Photographer: Florian Holzherr 




515 WEST 24 NEV 
TELEPHONE 212 206 



t YORK NY 10011 
9300 FAX 206 9301 


Design: Benjamin C/iiler 




1662 1 2 T H STREET 

90404/(213) 450-1129 

1. Place viewer open-ended to¬ 
wards light. Avoid shadows on 
both pictures to achieve equal 
illumination both sides. 

2. Align bottom edge of stereo 
pictures to parallel line be¬ 
tween lenses. 

(Some defects of vision may * 
necessitate a slight twist off the | 

3. If you wear glasses, use them J 

while viewing. 2 j 

4. In some cases, focusing may be | 
improved by raising or lower- j 
ing the viewer. 

5. Give your eyes fair amount of | 
time to fuse the stereo pictures; 
only 8% of people cannot see . 


1. Fold lens panel. 

2. Fold support panel. 

3. Lock support to lens panel. 



mfg. by the taylor-merchant corp. 
n.y.c. 40001 made in u *.o. pats, pend 

Jerry Burchfield 

Cibachrome Photographs 
December 6,1976—January 15,1977 









You are cordially invited 
to the preview opening 
Monday, November 15,1976 
8 to 10 pm 

Atlantic Richfield Plaza, Beneath the Twin Towers 
Fifth and Flower Streets, Los Angeles, California 90071 


Installation at the Institute 
for Contemporary Art, P.S. 1 Museum 
Long Island City, New York 


James Turrell 



TEL 212-925-7474 FAX 212-226-1139 

Sala de Exposiciones de la Fundacion “la Caixa” 

Serrano, 60. 28001 Madrid 

12 de noviembre de 1992 - 10 de enero de 1993 

Horario de visitas: 
Laborables: de 11 a 20 h 
Domingos y festivos: de 11 a 14,30 h 
Martes cerrado 

y ^ '' - f 

Fundacion ”la Caixa” 

. SOTO, Imprcsor, S. A. - Dcp. Legal: M-35824-1992 

Sala de Exposiciones 



Fundacion ”la Caixa” 


James Turrell, figura importante en el arte contempo- 
raneo, ha creado espacios cerrados sin objetos, pero 
que no estan vacfos, ya que se llenan de luz en sus 
multiples tonalidades, sombras y coloridos, invitando 
al visitante a participar en la aventura de ver y perci- 
bir. Para los organizadores de esta exposicion, la 
inventiva radical del artista fue al mismo tiempo un 
enriquecimiento y un desaffo, ya que los mecanismos 
utilizados en las exposiciones convencionales no eran 
ya aplicables a una forma de arte cuyos materiales son 
intangibles, cuyos espacios no siempre son accesibles a 
mas de un visitante a la vez, y cuya defmicion formal 
atane al ambito de la perception, tanto como al de la 

Esperamos que el publico visitante desee seguir al 
artista en unas exploraciones que, en lugar de mo- 
verse dentro de las convenciones del arte tal como 
lo conocemos, apuntan hacia futuros panoramas 

La inherente dificultad del proyecto hace necesario 
expresar algo mas que un somero agradecimiento a 
aquellos que han participado en su realization. Julia 
Brown, como Comisaria de la exposicion, merece el 
mayor reconocimiento por el montaje de la muestra y 
la concepcion del catalogo que la acompana. Conto 
con la experta colaboracion de Michael Bond y Craig 
Baumhofer, que supervisaron la instalacion. La expo¬ 
sicion en su forma actual no habrfa podido llevarse a 
cabo sin la incorporation de estructuras de luz exis- 
tentes, presentadas en otros contextos en el Kunstve- 
rein de Diisseldorf. Queremos hacer extensiva nuestra 
gratitud al Director de dicha institution, Jiri Svestka. 

El mayor agradecimiento de la Fundacion “la Caixa” 
se dirige a Thomas M. Messer y, por supuesto, al pro- 
pio James % Turrell ya que, entre los muchos rasgos in- 
novadores de su contribution, se encuentra la unidad 
esencial, la absoluta imposibilidad de separar el pro- 
ceso creativo del de instalacion y presentacion. 


Director General de la Fundacion “la Caixa” 

Vista a£rca de Roden Crater, 1982 

Foto: James Turrell y Dick Wiser 

}i|6n pue iu;ds :||ajjnx sauief 


Contemporary Arts Museum 

5216 Montrose Boulevard 
Houston,Texas 77006-6598 
713 284-8250 


Non-Profit Organization 

U.S. Postage 


Houston, Texas 
Permit No. 6316 

James Turrell: Spirit and Light 

June 6-July 26,1998 





LOS ANGELES CA 90036-4904 

ililitli mllmuilnlli iiluM till ilttluiiil mil tit mil! 

The Museum receives operating support from 
the Cultural Arts Council of Houston/Harris 
County, the Texas Commission on the Arts 
through the Cultural Arts Council, and museum 

Continental Airlines is the official airline of the 
Contemporary Arts Museum. 

Admission to the Contemporary Arts Museum 
is free through the generosity of Les and Diane 
Marks, Les Marks Chevrolet-Mazda-Geo, Jay 
Marks Toyota, and Jay Marks Mazda-Hyundai. 

front: Milk Run II, 1997 as installed at Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria 
Fluorescent light 
Courtesy the artist 
Photo: Gerald Zugman 

The presentation of James Turrell: Spirit and Light 
has been supported by grants from 
The National Endowment for the Arts, a Federal 
agency, and the Contemporary Arts Museum's 
Major Exhibition Fund contributors: 


Ms. Louisa Stude Sarofim 

George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation 
Max and Isabell Smith Herzstein 
Mr. and Mrs. I.H. Kempner III 
Mary Lynch Kurtz 
Fayez Sarofim & Co. 
Mr. and Mrs. Marvin H. Seline 
The Susan Vaughan Foundation 

Arthur Andersen LLP 
Mr. and Mrs. A.L. Ballard 
Rob and Louise Jamail 
Michael and Jeanne Klein 
Mary Lawrence Porter 
Karen and Steve Susman 
Wilson Industries Inc. 

and through the generous support of the 
Museum's trustees and members. 

Gallery Talk 
James Turrell 

Saturday, June 6,3:00 p.m. 

Power Lunches 

Join us for these short walk-through gallery 
tours. Bring your own lunch for a casual discussion 
with the speakers which follows in The Cullen 
Foundation Education Resource Center. 

John H.Lienhard, Ph.D.,M.D. Anderson Distinguished 
Professor of Mechanical Engineering and History, 
University of Houston and host/author of The Engines 
of Our Ingenuity heard nationally on Public Radio 

Wednesday/June 10,12:00 

Dan Havel, Kate Petley and Dean Ruck, artists 
and collaborators on "0":A House Installation 
Wednesday, June 17,12:00 

J. Pittman McGehee, former Dean of Christ Church 
Cathedral and Diplomate Jungian analyst 

Wednesday, June 24,12:00 

The Director and the Board of Trustees of the 
Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston 
invite you to 
the preview of: 

James Turrell: 

Spirit and Light 

Friday, June 5,7:00-9:00 p.m. 

The exhibition will be on view 
through July 26,1998 

yJAW&S C- 2^/5 " 3 /s/t */ 


JANUARY 25, 1984 LIBka 


"AERIAL DRAWINGS-RODEN CRATER" *-os angeles count- 

MUSEt'M OF / -1 








s rv^-ef t 
?Je'/z •/ 


MAR 11884 


FEBRUARY 10, 1984 






TEL: 213/658-6980 


tv* ye&i c 


MAY 2 1984 

LOS A/Xc»i_i_c ^ Okyura 1 


James TurrelTs “Aerial Drawings—Roden Crater" 
are on view at Flow Ace Gallery, 8373 Melrose Ave., 
through March 3. 

They are views of the 500,000-year-old crater on the 
edge of the Painted Desert in Northern Arizona, where 
Turrell has been working on his most ambitious 
environmental work to date. Made in pastel, Conte 
crayon, photo-emulsion, graphite and ink on vel¬ 
lum/mylar paper, the drawings incorporate actual 
elevation blueprints of the site and record the first 
planning stages of the crater project, started several 
years ago. i 

Turrell, who has long been preoccupied with light, o 
space and human perception of that interaction, has ^ 
undertaken to shape the actual surface of the crater, 
designing a series of specific spaces which will permit 
the viewer to perceive the heavens and earthbound 
space in a different way than they did before. When ^ 
completed, the project will provide visual and perceptu- X 
al experiences using only the natural light of the sun, 
moon and stars. □ 

2/rl/S / 

The Lapis Press 


. \ \ ‘ - 5 

MAY 23 198b 


February 10, 1986 : $2.00 

i iL ** 


1 f 

. -■ _ _ 






TurrelPs ‘Celestial Vault’ 

The immense Roden Crater ‘earth’ work turns sun and moonlight into art 


Capturing ‘the music of the spheres, played out in light’: Roden Crater in the Arizona desert 

W onder, spirituality, the sub¬ 
lime-today the grand old 
words often ring false. They 
are ill-suited to the modern 
world; few intelligent artists 
use them without a careful smile. James 
Turrell is no exception, but his work none¬ 
theless restores such words to art in a mod¬ 
ern, unhackneyed way. In the last few 
years, he has done nothing less than take a 
volcano in hand—the Roden Crater in 
northern Arizona—where he intends, he 
says, to capture "the music of the spheres, 
played out in light, by the sun, moon, stars 
and ambient light.” 

Turrell’s exquisite work with light—ex¬ 
amples are now on display at Los Angeles’s 
Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), in 
an exhibit organized by Julia Brown—has 
its origins in the late 1960s and 70s. Cer¬ 
tain artists of that period began to work 
directly with the American landscape, par¬ 
ticularly in the remote Southwest. Several 
such "earth” works continue today to ex¬ 

cite the imagination Walter De Maria’s 
"Lightning Field” 1 1977>, for example, in 
which 400 stainless-steel poles were placed 
in a grid on the New Mexico desert, may be 
the most photographically reproduced, but 
least seen, work of the 1970s. 

In the same period, some Los Angeles 
artists, among them Robert Irwin and Tur¬ 
rell. began to experiment with light. In¬ 
stead of painting light, they asked, why not 
turn light itself into art? In an early work 
"Afrum-Proto” (1967), Turrell. who had 
studied perceptual psy iol ;gy at Pomona 
College in California, projected a roughly 
rectangular shape against the corner of the 
wall so that, when seen, the light seemed 
almost three dimensional. Over time, he 
became particularly adept at endowing 
ambient light with an almost physical pres¬ 
ence; he spoke of light "inhabiting” a space, 
of "color entering a space riding on the 
light." In a 1980 installation at the Whit¬ 
ney Museum of American Art. viewers 
walked into a room where a gray-green 

rectangle hung on the wall. 
Upon walking closer, what 
they actually found was a cut in 
a wall, behind which was a light 
so tangible they often reached 
out to touch it, as if this imma¬ 
nence were alive. 

When not creating art, Tur¬ 
rell was usually studying the 
sky. A licensed pilot, he sup¬ 
ported himself by, among other 
things, restoring antique air¬ 
craft. In 1974 he methodically 
flew over the West, looking for 
a site, preferably hemispheric 
in shape, that rose above a 
plain. He settled on the dor¬ 
mant Roden Crater, which 
looks out over the Painted Des¬ 
ert. With funds from DIA, a 
New York-based art founda¬ 
tion, he bought the site in 1977. 
To raise the money to complete 
his plans, which will cost an 
estimated $6 million, he has 
set up a foundation called Sky- 
stone. Sometime in the 1990s 
he hopes to complete what one 
Italian collector has called, 
rather breathily, the "Sistine 
Chapel of America." 

Visitors, limited to three or 
four at a time, will typically spend a day 
and a night at the volcano. They will move 
through a series of austere spaces, some 
carved into the lower part of the volcano. 
Each space will be delicately attuned to the 
different, and passing, effects of sun, star 

A student of the sky: Turrell 



and moonlight; under certain conditions, 
for example, visitors will see their own 
shadow in the light of Venus. This summer 
Turrell will begin shaping, coloring and 
adjusting what he calls the "Western 
Space.” an oval area in which, according to 
Craig Adcock’s essay in the MOCA catalog, 
light will "seem to hang suspended. . Dur¬ 
ing the day. as the sun moves from east to 
west, the quality of this fog. or mist of light. 
will change constantly until, finally, at 
sunset, direct light will burst through the 
opening, causing the suspended light to 

Many of the spaces will have solar and 
lunar alignments. Every 18.61 years, for 
example, when the moon is at its south¬ 
ernmost declination, it will shine into a 
1,035-foot-long tunnel that leads toward 
the main bowl of the crater. In the crater 
bowl itself, which is about 300 yards wide, 
viewers will experience what’s called the 
"celestial vault"—the dome-shaped sky 
appears to be a kind of skin attached to the 
rim of the bowl. At sunset this flattening 
effect will erode until, on a clear and star¬ 
ry night, the eye will look into what is 
probably "the deepest amount of space vis¬ 
ually comprehensible.” 

In the wild: Why visit a volcano, some have 
asked, if you can see the stars from your 
window? The light is better at the volcano, 
of course, but Turrell also likes to grant 
experience the dignity of ritual. You can 
watch a flower that opens once a year in a 
greenhouse, he says, or you can frame the 
experience differently, by taking the trou¬ 
ble to search out the flower in the wild. The 
flower is the same; the experience is not. 
Critics have stressed Turrell’s technical 
wizardry and located his special poetry in 
the way viewers "perceive their own per¬ 
ceiving.” As theconcern for ritual suggests, 
however, Turrell is more shaman than ma¬ 
gician. An artist who likes space to "yield to 
vision,” who says "light is not so much 
something that reveals, as it is itself the 
revelation,” who wants, in short, to make 
light manifest—this is an artist with a spir¬ 
itual turn of mind. 

Turrell himself rarely uses a word like 
spiritual. He would not want to trap his art 
in sentimental rhetoric or risk being taken 
for a warmed-over hippie. This careful reti¬ 
cence (also felt in his art) is partly why the 
Roden Crater project seems convincingly 
contemporary. Revokes the star-struck re¬ 
ligions of the ancients, yet is confined to no 
particular religion; it hints at magical ge¬ 
ometries, yet is plainly respectful of the 
contemporary sciences of psychology, aero¬ 
nautics and astrophysics. Most of all, per¬ 
haps, its whole vast crazy precision, its 
marvelous remoteness, seem appropriate. 
Not because Turrell is a holy fool, but be¬ 
cause a spiritual light, in this society, is 
best seen from the corner of the eye. 

Mark Stevens 



9430 WILSHIRE BLVD • LOS ANGELES • CALIFORNIA • 90212 • TEL 323.935.4411 
FAX 323.935.9988 • ACELOSA@AOL.COM 





Over the last thirty-five years James Turrell has created works that allow the viewer to apprehend 
perception, not through a pseudo-scientific exploration of sight’s mechanics, but rather through the 
probing of spaces in which aspects of ‘seeing,’ from the physiological to the sublime, are revealed. The 
subject and the material for his works have consistently been one and the same: light and space. The art 
of Turrell is strongly rooted in the landscape of the Western United States. Born, raised, and educated in 
the Los Angeles area, Turrell was always acutely aware of the complex interplay of the sky, light and the 
atmosphere in motion across expanses of ocean, desert, and city. 

Inaugurating Ace Gallery’s exhibition space in Beverly Hills (which will run in conjunction with the existing 
location in Los Angeles), James Turrell will be constructing a freestanding autonomous space within the 
structure of the main gallery. Beyond light interacting with surface, Turrell has devised ways of coaxing 
the walls inside architectural spaces to hold light and to engage viewers in the act of perception. 

Although complex in conception and precise in construction, there is economy of means in Turrell’s work. 
Existing architectural details are neutralized by the creation of a perfect white space within a building. 
Creating several series of works for interiors (although some are directly linked to the sky by means of 
apertures or redirected exterior light) provide various perceptual situations. Human sensory perception is 
heavily weighted toward the visual. Our perception and the context of viewing are brought into play as a 
cognitive process of ‘seeing.’ Projection Pieces, Shallow-Space Constructions, Wedgeworks, Skyspaces, 
Space-Division Pieces, Mixed-Light Works, and Dark Pieces - focus attention on the facts presented in 
the works, on the interrelation of light, space, and perception, rather than on any subjective readings. 

Turrell’s ongoing interest in Ganzfelds - homogenous, undifferentiated visual fields where light seems to 
hover and whose distance and location are difficult to specify, are manifest in the Skyspaces and the 
Autonomous Structures, as well as this new work at Ace Gallery. As much to do with painterly issues of 
light and color as shape and form, “a painterly sensibility in three-dimensions.” A commitment to dedicated 
looking is required from the viewer as dynamic participation. Ad Reinhardt may be seen as taking painting 
to a similar threshold of perception, revealing their reduced differentiations only after a period of close 
looking. As one can never really see the whole of these paintings since the concentration required to see 
one section works against the eye’s ability to hold the color of the other squares, Turrell’s work combines 
light and space so that the perception of their interrelationship, can be experienced only directly. 

While a rich tradition of artists have sought to induce the sensation of seeing the effect of light within 
atmosphere, Turrell is interested in the creation of equivalent, rather than illusory, experiences; 
reactivating experience in the viewer rather than depiction. 

James Turrell was born in Los Angeles in 1943. He currently lives and works in Flagstaff, Arizona. This 
exhibition is made possible with support from Nokia. 

Reference: Craig Adcock: James Turrell: The Art of Light and Space . University of California Press, Berkeley, Los Angeles, Oxford. 1990 

For further information or visual materials please contact Ace Gallery Los Angeles at 323.935.4411 or email 

Gallery Hours: Tuesday through Saturday 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM 

1[rOfcReU. y \m/£5 



June 8, 1998 
Contact: Katherine Lee 
(949) 759.1122, ext. 211 


NEWPORT BEACH - James Turrell’s installation from his “Aperture” series opens at 
the Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA) in Newport Beach on June 20, 1998 
and will remain on view through January 3, 1999. Turrell creates illusions by using 
the properties of the environment, specifically light and space, to affect a 
disorientation of one’s customary experience of seeing the world. 

By carefully controlling the quality of light (fluorescent, tungsten, or natural) in 
various combinations, Turrell sets up the illusion of a visual screen through which 
one sees into an interior space whose boundaries appear to have dissolved. The 
effect is like looking into an atmosphere~an experience that could be 
duplicated in real life only by looking directly into a cloudless sky, unhampered 
by a horizon, or by becoming immersed in a thick fog. The artist believes that the 
human eye must often create visual illusions to make sense of seemingly 
conflicting physical appearances, such as the meeting of two parallel lines at a 
vanishing point. 

Born in 1943, Turrell is a major American artist of the Light and Space Movement. 
Its adherents, which includes the artists Robert Irwin, Eric Orr, and Craig 
Kauffman, among others, worked in Venice and Santa Monica during the 1960s, 
and were inspired by the then unsullied stretches of blue sky and pure Pacific 

o r n n g e 
c o u n T Y 

of art 

• more- 

8 5 0 son CLEIDEI1TE DRIVE n E U) P 0 R T BEACH CA 9 2 6 6 0 pH 94 9 75 9 1 1 2 2 /< 9 4 9 7 5 9 5 6 2 5 

“James Turrell installation 
page 2/2 

Tun-ell's interest in the depiction of light began when he majored in perceptual 
psychology at Pomona College where he graduated in 1965. A designer of 
perceptual dramas, Turrell is an artist whose room-environment works deal solely 
with the light and space of a specific site. He constructs magical spaces of 

illusion: solid walls that seem to have dissolved and barriers where none exist. He 
has said, “I am interested in space and light, and not in form. It is the ‘physicality’ 
of light and the space it fills that fascinates me. My work is about making people 
aware that light isn’t something that reveals, so much as it itself is the revelation." 

This exhibition is made possible by the generous support of Barbara and 
Victor L. Klein and Northern Trust Bank of California N.A. 


Dickran Tashjian, chairman of the UCI Humanities Department 
“James Turrell and the California Light and Space Movement" 
July 14, 12:00 p.m., Lyon Auditorium, free admission 

# # # 

Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach is located at 850 San Clemente Drive. Hours are 11 a.m. to 
5 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is $5/adults; $4/seniors and students; children under sixteen and 
OCMA members are free. The Newport Beach galleries are free to the public every Tuesday through Labor 
Day thanks to the generous support of Robinsons-May. The Museum is located at the corner of San Clemente 
and Santa Barbara. For more information on exhibitions or membership, contact the Museum at (949) 759.1122 

7~<y/Z Cj 77f /? cs 




FEBRUARY 26 - MARCH 30, 1985 



FEB 2 8 196j 

Karl Bomstein Gallery is proud to present an ongoing series of exhibits to 


document the progress of James Turrell's most current undertaking, the Roden Crater 
project. The project involves altering a 500,000 year old extinct crater for the 
purpose of observing celestial events and atmospheric conditions. The evolution of 
the site will be shown through stereographic visions. The initial exhibit will 
feature double images, photographed aerially at altitudes between 7,400' and 11,400' 
above sea level. Shot from slightly different angles and with staggered timing, the 
stereographic view elicits the sense of actually being there. Future pieces will be 
taken from within the confines of the crater. 

Enclosed for your inspection prior to the forthcoming exhibit, is a package 
that includes an invitational card with reproductions of the double image and a 
stereographic viewer with instructions for perceiving the phenomena. 

Since the 1960's, Turrell's explorations of light and space have stretched 
the limits of how we view our environment. Using subtle shifts in perspective and 
projecting light as physical presences, he enhances the dimensions of ordinary 
reality, and raised questions about the illusory qualities of substance. His unique 
sensory effects offer haunting enigmas about learned versus actual perception. His 
art evolved from working with tungsten and flourescent light, to manipulating light 
from natural sources. The Roden Crater project amplifies those investigations and 
carries illusory perception and heightened sensitivity to a grand scale. 

To realize the majesty of his vision, Turrell selected a location where beauty 
and power is pervasive. Situated in Arizona near the Grand Canyon, the crater is 
set in a volcanic field of 273 craters and is surrounded by lava flows. Rising 600' 
above the Painted Desert, it is adjacent to the Grand Falls of the Little Colorado 
River, and a short distance from a variety of national parks and monuments, including 
Sunset Crater and Wutpaki National Monument. Within this magical sphere, geological 
time is exposed, and the sense of being on the surface of the earth is deeply felt. 

1662 1 2 T H ST / SANTA MONICA / CA / 90404 

4 5 0 - 1 1 2 9 
4 5 9 - 3 0 1 7 



Oriented toward capturing light energies and astronomical occurances for the 
next 15,000 years, Roden Crater brings life's continuums into sharp focus. The 
crater is vaulted to accentuate the shape of the sky above and seven major chambers, 
including a 1,035' tunnel which will act as "sensing spaces," activating the spaces 
with a sense of light atmosphere, as well as other perceptual phenomena. With the 
aid of E. C. Krupp of the Griffith Park Observatory and Richard Walker of the U. S. 
Naval Observatory in Flagstaff, the spaces are celestially aligned to project solar 
and lunar events and special events such as eclipses and transits. 

Turrell's artistic language speaks eloquently of our connections to the 
universe. He mines transcendent regions between time and space, and probes the 
veil of mystery between illusion and reality. The transformation of a natural 
phenomenon into an astronomical monument provides a contemporary link to ritual 
structures (such as ancient pyramids and Gothic cathedrals). The spiritual essence 
of the crater, however, is derived from art rather than culture. The experiential 
interchange between nature and aesthetics blurs their distinctions, and enriches 
the sensations of both. Time magazine art critic, Robert Hughes, wrote, "When 
contemplating Turrell's work, one is confronted with the reflection of one's own 


For information, call Meta Fleisher, 450-1129 

1662 12TH ST / SANTA MONICA / C A / 90404 

Ub Lraiiery netting xntangiDie an 

X Clgl/ X wi X. 

-X\> EReu ( iftmes 


Breaking News 

FROM A . P . 

August 4, 2000 E3 E-Mail 'Hus, Article 

US Gallery Getting Intangible Art 


Filed at 5:26 p.m. EDT 
By The Associated Press 

WASHINGTON (AP) — For the first time in its more than 60 years, 
the National Gallery of Art is getting a series of art works that can't 
be hung or touched — they won't even exist after the gallery closes 
for the day and the lights are turned out. 

The art consists of projections of light on the walls. 

"The four projection pieces by artist James Turrell constitute the 
gallery's first acquisition of installation art and signal our 21st 
century goals for the collection of modern and contemporary art," 
Director Earl A. Powell III said in a statement Friday announcing the 

Money for the purchase came from the Brown Foundation of 
Houston. The gallery declined to talk about price, but said Turrell 
will donate a fifth work. 

Last year Washington's Hirshhom Museum, part of the Smithsonian 
Institution, showed a similar work of Turrell's called "Milk Run." It 
was projected into a dark room by red, yellow and blue lights. 

"It's like walking into a kind of pink fog," said Sidney Lawrence, the 
Hirshhom's spokesman. 

He said he could think of no specific term to describe the art, though 
Turrell and others have been creating it in different ways since the 








"Installation art" often contains electric lights, moving parts and 
concrete objects that are visible parts of the work. 


Inside Art 

Carol Vogel 

National Gallery 
Adds Turrells 

To beef up its contemporary-art 
holdings, the National Gallery of Art 
in Washington has acquired four ear¬ 
ly works by the installation artist 
James Turrell. 

And after hearing of the purchase, 
Mr. Turrell said he would give the 
gallery a fifth work. 

“He is certainly an artist whose 
work belongs in any museum/’ said 
Earl A. Powell 3rd, the gallery’s di¬ 
rector. “We’re beginning to focus on 
areas like Minimalism. We had no in¬ 
stallation pieces in our collection.” 

The four projection pieces, bought 
with the help of the Brown Founda¬ 
tion in Houston, represent Mr. Tur- 
rell’s early classic work from the 
1960’s. “Royce” and “Artar” are sin¬ 
gle-wall projections in which pure 

shapes are created with white light 
from a single projector. “Amba” and 
“Orca,” created with two projectors, 
are among the first of many works 
by the artist that fill an entire wall.- 

Jeffrey Weiss, head of the depart¬ 
ment of contemporary art, said that 
the work donated by Mr. Turrell 
could be an existing piece or a new 
one created specifically for the mu¬ 
seum as part of his “Space Division” 
series, which, unlike the museum’s 
other Turrell pieces, employs color. 
In this series, a single room is divid¬ 
ed into two sections by a wall with an 
aperture. Each section has separate 
lighting, and the viewer stands in one 
space, looking through the opening 
into the other. 

The museum has not decided ex¬ 
actly when the Turrells will go on 
view, but is aiming for 2002, Mr. 

Weiss said. They are to be installed 
in the East Building, home to the gal¬ 
lery’s collection of 20th-century art 
since it opened in 1978.. 



Tcs/. ',-r^:£r\ u- 





29 November 1984 1 1 . 655-5719 

MUSEUM r>F a*»T 

Bernard Jacobson Gallery, 8364 Melrose Avenue, is pleased to announce simultaneous 
exhibitions of two artists who deal with time and space - Victor Willing and 
James Turrell. The exhibition will open December 7, and continue until January 5, 

Victor Willing has a unique interest in building metaphysical sculptures out of 
painted images. His premiere exhibition in l.os Angeles features the painting 
"Cal lot: Fusilier 1 , a monumental work that is a dramatic composition of sculptural 
elements set in ambiguous space. The construction of this object seems uncertain, 
but is painted with such clarity and conviction there is a sense of permanence. 

The painting has a power far beyond its size, and the same can be said for many 
of the drawings. Using the simplest of forms - a triangle, a sphere, and a cube, 
he has created an animated "Judge." The smudged lines mystify rather than illumin- 


ate - particularly in the "Magister", a structure which precariously balances a 
s ries of geometric forms. Other drawings illustrate animated forms set in room¬ 
like spaces. Totem-like sculptural lideas are also explored in Willing's first 

obviously figurative work. There is a primitive quality - direct and charged 


with associations. 

Willing, 56, first exhibited in the 1950's at the Hanover Gallery in London, which 
was then at the pinnacle of its influence. He chose not to exhibit for the next 
18 years while he was living in Portugal, and his return to London in 1976 amounted 
to a debut. The assurance of his work, the clarity of intention and image has led 
critics and collectors to hail his return. An unfortunate degenerative illness 

. / 

8364 MELROSE AVENUE, LOS ANGELES, CA 90069 ■ 213 655-5719 


- 2 - 

limits his ability to work, and this exhibition has special significance due to 
the limited availability of both drawings and paintings. His work is in the 
collection of the Tate Gallery, the British Council, the Arts Council of Great 
Britain, as well as the private collection of Doris and Charles Saatchi. 

James Turrell's work on exhibition is a portfolio of seven aquatints entitled 
"Deep Sky". This work is based on Turrell's major project. The Roden Crater, 
in Arizona. The portfolio illustrates the ever-changing phenomena of celestial 
events viewed from the Roden Crater. The work is rich and mysterious, and the 
velvety aquatints are the perfect medium to convey the sensuous and majectie 
qualities of these events. 

The Roden Crater Project Site was acquired in 1977, and is currently being meticu¬ 
lously transformed by Turrell and his Skystone Foundation into a volcano environ¬ 
ment that will function as an observatory of celestial events and perceptual 
phenomena. The volcano will remain a volcano and no change will be evident from 
the ground. Shaped as a Japanese garden which merges with nature, the crater 
will deal with light inhabiting space and selected celestial events. Turrell, 4l, 
has been working with light and space perceptions since 1967- His work in public 
collections includes: the Chicago Art Institute, Moderna Museet, the Museum of 
Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the Seattle Art Museum and the Whitney Museum of 
American Art. 

8364 MELROSE AVENUE, LOS ANGELES, CA 90069 ■ 213 655-5719 

A terrific use of light and space ' 

MoCA displays some exceptional work by James Turrell 

By Christopher Knight 

Herald art critic 


- L 
•' [ 

% r; 

he name of James TurrelL 
is well-known to anyone 
with even a cursory famil¬ 
iarity with the art of the 
last 25 years. But his often excep¬ 
tional work is not so well-known — 
at least not in the form of direct, 
firsthand experience, which is the 
one that counts the most. 

A Los Angeles native (he was 
horn in 1943), Turrell was a central 
figure in the development of a 
genre that, since its emergence in 
the late 1960s. has taken its name 
from the elusive, primary materials 
of its fabrication: light and space. 
Because that mode is today widely 
considered to be the first wholly 
original art to have been produced 
in L.A., it’s a bit startling to realize 
that Turrell’s most recent large- 
scale show in. Southern California 
was the one that, first brought him 
to wide attention 18 years ago. 

For this reason, the retrospec¬ 
tive exhibition that opened last 
Wednesday at the Museum of Con¬ 
temporary Art is of unusual inter¬ 
est. There is always a danger in 
relying on photographic reproduc¬ 
tions and documentation of works 
of art, but when that art consists of 
a rectangular plane of light or an 
atmospheric chamber, the danger is 
acute. The MoCA show affords a 
chance to get to know an enterprise 
that has long occupied a kind of 
legendary realm — and it’s an 
opportunity not to be missed. 

It’s a beautiful exhibition. Organ¬ 
ized by MoCA senior curator Julia 
Brown Turrell and assistant curator 
Jacqueline Crist, the show is div¬ 
ided into four parts: a selection of 
three projected-light works from 
1967; five room-size installations, 
one dating from 1976 and the rest 
from the past few' years; a recent 
collaboration with architect Robert 
M.ungurian for the design of a 
winery in Northern California (the 
project wasn’t built, but is repre¬ 
sented by plans and a model); and 
numerous drawings, studies, plans 
and a large, topographical model of 
Hie volcanic site in Arizona where 
the artist is shaping the massive 
Roden Crater into a celestial ob 

In essence, Turrell is a designer 
of perceptual dramas. Because the 
physical materials of light and 
space are structured into a highly 
dynamic network of relations, his 
installations are marked by a decid¬ 
edly theatrical quality. 

It is not, however, a drama that 
is played out before a passive 
spectator’s eyes. What makes Tur- 
rell’s work so important and com¬ 
pelling is the way in which it 
reveals the spectator’s own percep¬ 
tion to be the protagonist in the 
pageant. You don’t merely see a 
James Turrell installation. Rather, 
it’s orchestrated to make you see 
yourself seeing. 

The 1967 work called “Tollyn” is 
a plane of intense white light 
projected on a wall flush with the 
corner. (A projector is imbedded in 
the ceiling.) The line of demarca¬ 
tion between the illuminated and 
unilluminated wall is razor sharp. 
Through these simple means, a 
complicated phenomenon occurs: 
The “immaterial” light assumes the 
physical tangibility of a dense and 
solid plane, while the “material” 
wall next to it adopts an atmos¬ 
pheric sponginess. Light is revealed 
as physical, physicality as permea¬ 

Something strangely primal 
marks the experience of seeing 
“Jadito’s Night,’’ something su¬ 
premely natural that is pulled from 
deep within spectators who have 
been shaped by the relentless arti¬ 
fice of contemporary life. In that 
fluid and moving experience, the 
perceptual drama is taking place. 

A long tradition stands behind 
the general arena in which Turrell 
works, although the particular 
form he has developed is a new one. 
W’hen he began to work with 
perceptual phenomena in the late 
1960s. the purely aesthetic charac¬ 
ter of abstraction that was a domi¬ 
nant legacy of Parisian modernist 
art was beginning to become un¬ 
done in many sectors. Perhaps the 
shift can most easily be seen in the 
rising interest in the early-20th- 
century art of the Russian avant- 
garde and of northern Europe, v. 
Unlike the emphasis on, formal ~ 
manipulation of shapes and colors 
in School of Paris painting, artists 
such as Malevich and Mondrian 
sought to penetrate beneath the 
surface of material things to unlock 
mystical and spiritual essences. 

“Tollyn” is not an optical illu¬ 
sion; it’s an optical reality. Turrell’s 
aim isn’t to fool the eye in tradi¬ 
tional trompe Voeil manner. He 
wants instead to “unfool” the eye, 
to make it aware of its own 
perceptual limits and capacities. 

In an extraordinary new installa¬ 
tion called “Jadito’s Night,” the 
complexity of that aim has been 
compounded and made startlingly 
resonant. The pitch-black chamber 
is entered through a long hallway; 
inside, two small projectors 
mounted on the ceiling — one 
emitting fractured beams of red 
light, the other a combination of 
red and blue — create a faint and 
dappled glow on the opposite wall. 
Only that hazy glow is visible when 
you" enter the darkened room, and 
it’s a mysteriously moving and 
captivating sight. The glow is like 
an apparition of indeterminate lo¬ 
cation in space; now it appears to be 
a radiant cloud illuminated by an 
unseen sunset, now a molten pool 
of liquid matter. 

Art historian Robert Rosenblum 
has appropriately dubbed this non- 
French practice “transcendental 
abstraction.” and Turrell’s work is 
certainly within this larger Roman¬ 
tic tradition. But it shares a pecu 
liarly American inflection as well 
For the transcendentalist impulse, 
which strains toward communion 
with the impalpable mysteries of 
life forces, has been a continuing 
thread in American art and litera¬ 
ture since their beginnings. 

In its way, this impulse is an odd 
fusion of the Edenic and the 
utopian — of the longing for a lost, 
pre-historic paradise and the dream 
of an ideal future — in which the 
present moment is perceived as an 
experience held in tension between 
the two. What impulse could better 
describe the experience of Euro¬ 
pean discovery and settlement of a 
vast and seemingly virgin New 
World? And this sense of cleansing, 
future-oriented utopianism set in a 
beautiful, geologically ancient des¬ 
ert perhaps best describes Turrell’s 
ambitious project for a celestial | 
observatory at Roden Crater — a, 
project which, upon its completion 


P.:rbsamcn/Hcrald photographer 

^ 7 , 7 1/fdjzeuu 

i Sunday, November 17, 1985, Los Angeles Herald Examiner £7 - 

An exhibition of James Turreirs work is 

on view at MoCA’s Temporary Contemporary. The exhibit includes drawings, studies 
i the Arizona site where he is shaping the Roden Crater into a celestial observatory. 

ometime in the next decade, may 
veil stand as the apogee of this 
undamental American ethos. 

The examination of such terri* 
ory can be mesmerizing. It may be 
t testament to the primal power of 
Turrell’s art that critical and histor- 
cal interpretations so often tend to 
>e disarmed in the breathtaking 
ace of it. The handsome book that 
tccornpanies the MoCA exhibition 
published jointly by the museum, 
>apis Press and the Fellows of 
'ontemporary Art) is itself an 
sample. The book is titled “Oc- 
luded Front,** a meteorological 
erm describing the phenomenon 
hat occurs when a warm front is 
wertaken by a cold front and the 
»riginal air mass is forced aloft 
‘gainst an invisible surface. It 
ncludes an informative interview 
vith the artist, reprints of two brief 
ssays from exhibitions mounted in 
067 and 1976. a discussion of his 

architectural collaboration with 
Mangurian, a rumination by Count 
Giuseppe Panza di Biumo (Turreirs 
prominent patron) and two poems 
inspired by the artist’s work. 

Surprisingly for a retrospective 
exhibition, no attempt has been 
made to see Turreirs work as a 
cultural construct, bounded by his¬ 
tory, that reveals our present mo¬ 
ment. The power of this art is 
perhaps most tellingly suggested in 
the essay describing the Roden 
Crater project: It’s filled with use¬ 
ful, straightforward information, 
but it’s exceedingly strange to read 
an art museum text that’s written 
entirely in the future tense. 

As an artist, James Turrell seems 
rather like Shakespeare’s Prospero. 
Under the weight of the historic 
burden of Western civilization, the 
hero of “The Tempest’’ was a 
reclusive scholar; once dispatched 
to the primeval island — to a raw 

and untouched new world — he ; 
was transformed into a social engK 
neer whose subsequent design of 7 
the drama effected a redemptive^ 
change of state. . . , 

As. a designer of perceptual , 
dramas, Turrell also seeks to shake 
up, loosen and make fluid our, : 
solidified ways of seeing. The en : ; 
chanted triumph of this perceptual 
renewal is a mix of self-mastery and7 
sensual pleasure. And, because the 7 
fusion of mind and object best* 
exemplified by art occurs within 7 
the spectator, Turrets work is a' - 
repudiation of fantasy and a ring; 
ing affirmation of the real. Like 7 
“The Tempest’’ before it, his art is a 
theatrical device in praise of proper 
balance between the natural and ^ 
the civilized. 

"James Turrell'' remains on view at 
MoCA s Temporary Contemporary. 159 
N. Central Ave.. through Feb. 9. 


m 21 1985' 


LOG ANCtLu. _ r 


Houston, Texas 

(713) 284.8250 
(713) 284.8275 fax 



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Kelli Dunning 

May 7,1998 713/284-8251 

June 6,1998 - July ITT 
The Brown Foundation Gallery 

Friday, June 5,1998 
7:00 - 9:00 pm 

The Contemporary Arts Museum will present James Turrell: Spirit and Light 
in The Brown Foundation Gallery from June 6 through July 26, 1998. The 
exhibition presents the work of James Turrell, a prominent American artist 
who explores the visual and metaphoric potential of natural and man-made 
light. Perceptual in nature, Turrell's work is uniquely accessible to a wide 
audience and offers viewers a unique opportunity to interact with a work of 
art that heightens the awareness of one's own senses. Spirit and Light is 
Turrell’s first one-person exhibition in the region. 

"Like the air we breathe, we take light for granted," states Lynn Herbert, 
Curator and organizer of the exhibition. "It is so fundamental to our being 
that we don't tend to dwell on it. And yet it is light's elemental nature that 
gives it the potential to be so powerfully enlightening. James Turrell is an 
American artist whose medium is light—not paintings that depict light, not 
sculpture that incorporates light, but simply light itself. Turrell taps into the 
light that greets us when we flip an electrical switch or turn on a television, 
the light from headlights and neon signs all around us at night, the light that 
each day rises in the east and sets in the west, and the light that glimmers in 
far away stars. Turrell's particular gift is affording us the opportunity to have 
a unique and intimate experience with light and to feel its transcendent 


James Turrell: Spirit and Light 
Page 2 

The exhibition will present a survey of Turrell's work from 1966 - 1998. 
Afnim-Proto (1966) is James Turrell's first light projection piece in which a 
three-dimensional cube created from light appears to float in a corner. 

This work and subsequent light projections led to a series of 20 luminous 
aquatint prints entitled First Light (1989-90), which will be included in the 

In organizing the exhibition, Turrell visited the Contemporary Arts Museum 
to study the building and floor plan. From his visit, he decided to create six 
different kinds of light chambers for the exhibition. 

Photographic works, and, in the Museum’s Cullen Foundation Education 
Resource Center, a CD-ROM, will afford an opportunity for visitors to learn 
about The Roden Crater, the artist's celestial observatory in a crater outside 
Flagstaff, Arizona currently under construction. A video documentary and 
interview on James Turrell produced by the BBC will also be available. 

The Cullen Foundation Education Resource Center will also include 
preliminary documentation and models of two important permanent works 
to be built in Houston in the next few years: a skyspace in the Live Oak 
Friends Meeting House (due to break ground January 1999) and a site-specific 
light installation for the Main Street tunnel for The Museum of Fine Arts, 
Houston. The Live Oak Friends Meeting House, designed by Turrell in 
collaboration with Leslie K. Elkins Architecture, will feature a skyspace in the 
meeting room and a window in the ceiling made possible by a retractable roof. 
The light or appearance of the sky will vary from day to night with the 
greatest change apparent at dusk when day becomes night. The underground 
tunnel passage, scheduled for completion in March 2000, will connect the 
new Audrey Jones Beck Building to the existing museum building. Turrell 
has designed a shallow space installation in which the walls of the passage 
will become vessels for light. 

James Turrell was born in Los Angeles, California in 1943. He graduated from 
Pomona College where he studied psychology and mathematics and received 
an M.A. in art from Claremont Graduate School in Claremont, California. 
Turrell has been the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, a 
Guggenheim Fellowship and the Chevalier des Arts et des Letters from 
France. He is the 1997 recipient of the $100,000 Wolf Prize for the Arts. 

Turrell has had numerous major solo exhibitions including those at the 
Witney Museum, New York, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam and Museum 
of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. 


James Turrell: Spirit and Light 
Page 3 


The Contemporary Arts Museum will publish a significant catalogue that 
examines Turrell's work with light within four different contexts: art history, 
architecture, science/astronomy and psychology/religion. Lynn M. Herbert, 
Curator and organizer of the exhibition has written an essay placing Turrell's 
work within an art historical context. John H. Lienhard, M. D. Anderson 
Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering and History at the 
University of Houston, is the host/author of the nationally syndicated Public 
Radio System program, "The Engines of Our Ingenuity." Lienhard has 
written about the marriage of art and science in Turrell’s work. J. Pittman 
McGeehee served as an ordained priest in the Episcopal Church from 1969- 
1991. Since then he has been the director of the Broadacres Center where he is 
a Diplomat Jungian analyst. McGeehee has written an essay placing Turrell's 
work in the context of the long history of the union between art and religion. 
Terrence Riley, Chief Curator, Department of Architecture and Design, The 
Museum of Modern Art, New York has written an essay exploring the 
relationship between Turrell's work and architectural space. 

Public Programs 


James Turrell: Spirit and Light 

Saturday, June 6,1998 
3:00 p.m. 

James Turrell will lead a guided tour of the exhibition. 


Join us for these short walk-through gallery tours followed by casual 
discussions in The Cullen Foundation Education Resource Center. Bring 
your own lunch or join us for coffee. 

Wednesday, June 10 

Catalogue essayist John Leinhard, PhD., M.D. Anderson Distinguished 
Professor of Mechanical Engineering and history, University of Houston. 


James Turrell: Spirit and Light 
Page 4 

Wednesday, June 17 

Dan Havel, Kate Petley and Dean Ruck, artists and collaborators on "O": A 
House Installation. 

Wednesday, June 24 

J. Pittman McGehee, Former Dean of Christ Church Cathedral and Diplomat 
Jungian Analyst 


Sunday, June 28 
2:00 - 4:00 pm 

Bring the kids for a fun-filled afternoon of art activities and interactive tours 
in conjunction with James Turrell: Spirit and Light. 

Free Acoustiguide INFORM Audio Tour System 

The Acoustiguide INFORM Audio Tour System, is similar to a hand-held 
cellular phone. The commentaries provide information about 
Spirit and Light and are available at the tough of a button. Acousitguides are 
available free at the Information desk at the entrance to the Museum. 

Exhibition Support 

The presentation of James Turrell: Spirit and Light has been supported by a 
grant from The National Endowment for the Arts, and the patrons, 
benefactors, and donors to the Contemporary Arts Museum's Major 
Exhibition Fund. Patron: Ms. Louisa Stude Sarofim; Benefactors: George and 
Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation; Max and Isabell Smith Herzstein; Mr. 
and Mrs. I.H. Kempner III; Mary Lynch Kurtz; Fayez Sarofim & Co.; Mr. and 
Mrs. Marvin H. Seline; The Susan Vaughan Foundation. Donors: Arthur 
Andersen LLP; Mr. and Mrs. A.L. Ballard; Rob and Louise Jamail; Michael and 
Jeanne Klein; Mary Lawrence Porter; Karen and Steve Susman; and Wilson 
Industries Inc. 

Museum Information 

Admission is free through the generosity of Les and Diane Marks, Les Marks 
Chevrolet-Mazda-Geo, Jay Marks Toyota and Jay Marks Mazda-Hyundai. 


James Turrell: Spirit and Light 
Page 5 

Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. 

Thursday 10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. 

Sunday noon - 5:00 p.m. 

Closed Mondays, New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day and 
Christmas Day. 

World Wide Web 

Access CAM On Line at <> 


Exhibitions and programs at the Contemporary Arts Museum are supported 
by the trustees, patrons and members of the Museum and donors to its 
programs. In addition, the Museum receives partial operating support from 
the Cultural Arts Council of Houston/Harris County, the Texas Commission 
on the Arts through the Cultural Arts Council, and museum members. 

A wide variety of education programs for adults and children will accompany 
this exhibition. For further information, please contact the Education Office 
at 713-284-8257. Education programs are made possible in part through the 
generous support of: M.D. Anderson Foundation; Fayez Sarofim & Co.; The 
Gordon and Mary Cain Foundation; Mary Maher Laub, The Powell 
Foundation; and The Travelers Foundation. 

Continental Airlines is the official airline of the Contemporary Arts 

The Contemporary Arts Museum is a non-profit institution dedicated to 
presenting the art of our time to the public. As a non-collecting museum, its 
mission is to provide a forum for art with an emphasis on the visual arts of 
the present and recent past; to document new directions in art through 
changing exhibitions and publications; to engage the public in a lively 
dialogue with today's art; and to encourage a greater understanding of 
contemporary art through educational programs. 








♦ Turn left and proceed around darkened wall. 
Enter large room. 


Slowly walk towards blue/grey rectangle. 

Pleiades (only two viewers at a time) 

♦ Turn right through doorway. 

Enter darkened doorway to your left. 

Slowly walk up ramp holding railings on either side. 

When ramp levels and railings end, 

sit down in a chair to your immediate left or right. 

The backs of the chairs are at the height of the handrails. 
Look straight ahead. 

The piece takes about 15 minutes to be seen. 


-fcTurn right. 

Enter doorway on your left. 

Slowly walk towards red cube. 



Among the first approaches Turrell used to make light 
inhabit space was the projection of high-intensity rectilinear 
images onto carefully prepared smooth white walls. While 
still a graduate student at the University of California at 
Irvine in 1966, Turrell created Afrum, a work now retitled 
Afrum-Proto, using a Leitz slide projector modified by the 
addition of a Quartz-Halogen source. During 1967, a series 
of Cross-Corner Projection Pieces —including Catso and 
Shanta, and a redone version of Afrum — were created using 
more versatile xenon projectors designed with the help of 
Leonard Pincus, a Los Angeles lighting expert. Each of the 
differently shaped Cross-Corner Projections seems to make 
pure light physically present while causing substantial per¬ 
ceptual changes in the spatial dynamics of the room in 
which they are projected. In Turrell's words, the Cross-Cor¬ 
ner Projection Pieces "seemed to objectify and make phys¬ 
ically present light as a tangible material. The space which 
these pieces occupied was definitely not the same as that 
which the room had without the image." 4 

The apparently solid images that make up the Cross- 
Corner Projection Pieces are projected through slide-sized 
templates into the corners of dimly lit rooms. The holes in 
the templates are shaped like hexagons or pentagons (and 
in a few cases chevrons) depending on the angle of projec¬ 
tion from the projector that is placed near the ceiling in the 
opposite corner of the installation space. Due to the per¬ 
spective of the corner into which they are projected, the 
shapes look solid. Especially from a distance, they appear 
to be three-dimensional chunks of light attached to the in¬ 
tersection of the walls. The viewing situation is, however, 
more complex than this description indicates. As we ap¬ 
proach the shape, the front surfaces of the volume, which 

had earlier seemed to be lost in the glare, simply disappear. 
In other words, the "solidity" gives way or yields on ap¬ 
proach. Up close, we have no trouble seeing that the shape 
actually consists of flat light on adjacent wall surfaces. 

The fact that the shape can occupy a kind of fluid 
perceptual state between three-dimensionaJity and two-di¬ 
mensionality is of interest to Turrell. He says that it is impor¬ 
tant that we be able to reconstruct the experience. If we step 
back into the center of the room, the panel of light again 
looks three-dimensional. "As you look at a piece, or an 
experience, you assemble the piece," he explains. "As you 
move on it, you can reassemble it. And the fact is that you 
can go back in, and assemble it again, to its original state. 
And yet having done that doesn't steal its magic. It's very 
important to me that you see it one way at first, and then it 
reveals itself as something else. Then you go back and see 
that initial way again." 5 As indicated here, and something 
Turrell himself often points out, the word "illusion" is not 
quite applicable to this kind of experience, at least not in 
the sense of the work being a trick that ceases to be as¬ 
tonishing when its secret is understood. The Cross-Corner 
Projections are illusions of a different, more complex order. 
Turrell argues that these works operate in spatial realms 
different from those usually engaged by art objects: "The 
space generated was analogous to a painting in two dimen¬ 
sions alluding to three dimensions, but in this case three- 
dimensional space was being used illusionistically. That is, 
the forms engendered through this quality of illusion did not 
necessarily resolve into one clearly definable form that 
would exist in three dimensions."* Rather than creating 
simple illusions of solid shapes, the Cross-Corner Projec¬ 
tions map one 3-space onto another. 




DANAE 1983 

Turrell designed a series of variations on the Ganzfeld 
approach to light in 1976 soon after completing the City of 
Arhiril. The Space-Division pieces, as these works are 
called, also create homogeneous visual fields by using 
smooth white walls, but instead of having one completely 
open end, they are equipped with a partition wall with a 
large aperture cut through it. This arrangement was de¬ 
signed in part to accommodate exhibition situations where 
it was difficult to allow viewers to actually enter the light 
sensitive chamber. From a distance, the different qualities of 
light in the two spaces—the outer viewing room and the 
interior sensing space—make light visible as a substantive 
layer seemingly stretched across the aperture. When we 
enter the dimly lit outer room, we see what appears to be a 
flat panel hanging on the far wall. Canister track lighting 
shines dim illumination on the side walls of the space just 
out from the edges of the aperture. As we approach the 
opening, the "panel" reveals itself to be a space filled with 
light. Even up close, the "surface" retains its position. In¬ 
deed, some viewers fail to realize there is a space beyond 
the opening just as some viewers of the City of Arhirit saw a 
wall surface instead of a Ganzfeld. 

In the Space-Division Pieces Turrell designed in 1976, 
known as the Prado Series, the position of the partition wall 
and the size of the aperture varies according to a set system 
involving the depth of the sensing space and the size of the 
aperture. The individual works create different qualities of 
space and surface depending on how they reveal these 
basic components. Turrell explains: "The tone of the light 
comes totally from the space outside of it, and the space 
itself is painted a pure titanium white. This is done to make 
the space totally reflective of the light tone which enters it. 
The space must be painted white, for if the walls are painted 
any color, the color seems to ride on the walls and not in the 
air. However, if the space is painted white, and the color 
arrives as ambient light from the space outside, then the 

color will seem to ride on the grain seen in the sensing 
space." 15 

In a discussion of lltar, one of the works from the Prado 
Series first constructed at the University of Arizona Museum 
of Art in 1980 and then reconstructed at the Center on 
Contemporary Art in Seattle in 1982, Turrell elaborates 
about how the light inside the sensing space functions and 
explains that designing such works is analogous to tuning a 
musical instrument: "Some of [the Space-Division Pieces) 
actually are tuned and some of them I know enough about 
that I don't really do that. But occasionally I've had to move 
the walls, because they didn't 'work.' I mean, when they 
don't work, when you made (the piece), it would just be an 
empty room. The fact of the matter is that in lltar ; for in¬ 
stance, the room isn't empty, and there's something in 
there—a quality of light that's very different than the quality 
of light that's in the room you inhabit. And that something 
comes by virtue of having the space sized in relationship to 
the light that enters it. That sizing isn't always easily predict¬ 
able, so I've actually had to move walls and change pieces 
to get it to do that sometimes. So that's sort of the 'tuning.' I 
have these sheet-rock rollers that you can slip underneath 
the wall and actually move it back ^nd forth if you haven't 
tightened it down yet." 16 The light inside the sensing space 
of a Space-Division Piece is in many ways comparable to 
that seen through the opening of a Skypiece. Both present 
light in homogeneous visual modes. The light seen through 
the aperture of a Skyspace, particularly on a cloudless day, 
is essentially a Ganzfeld. As in a Space-Division Piece, the 
color seems to ride on an immaterial plane between a space 
that we occupy and a space that is exterior to us. The color 
at the opening evolves over time. In the Space-Division 
Pieces, the changes are engendered by our movement in 
relation to the opening; in the Skyspaces, we remain sta¬ 
tionary, and the changes are engendered by the movement 
of the sun. 



During the 1980s, Turrell has created a series of Dark 
Pieces, works that develop in conceptual terms out of the 
last stages of the Mendota Stoppages. Because the Dark 
Pieces require our adapting to very low light levels, they put 
us into a state of receptivity in which we can, in almost 
literal terms, concentrate on the inner workings of our own 
visual systems. The qualities of light that become available 
with fully adapted vision seem to intensify the act of seeing. 
Dark adaptation requires at least twenty to thirty minutes 
and in some circumstances up to an hour. As the retinas 
adapt, maximum sensitivity shifts from cones to rods, from 
photopic to scotopic vision. In Pleiades , a Dark Piece per¬ 
manently installed at the Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh in 
1983, we enter a small chamber by feeling our way along a 
handrail through a narrow corridor that acts as a light trap. 
From a position behind a waist-high partition, we sit or 
stand and wait for something to happen. In the beginning, 
we cannot see our hands in front of our faces, and we have 
no real sense of the chamber's actual configuration. Gradu¬ 
ally, dim areas of luminance seem to become perceptible 
and to move through the space, but these are often phos- 
phenes generated by the random nerve firing inside our 
own retinas. But through time, Pleiades begins to turn on: at 
first, it seems that a small globular area with a slightly red¬ 
dish cast is hanging out in the space before us. Then, the 
color becomes more blue, and the red moves toward the 
edges of the globular shape. The intensification reflects the 
Purkinje Shift, the change in maximum color sensitivity 
some 60 nanometers toward the blue that accompanies our 
switching from photopic to scotopic vision. Turrell has fur¬ 
ther enhanced our experience of this phenomenon by his 

arrangement of the work. The light we see is actually cre¬ 
ated by a very low-wattage projection on the end wall of the 
space. The projection is sized with the Purkinje Shirt in 
mind. By surrounding a dim area of blue light with a dim 
area of red light, the image when focused onto the retinas 
by the corneas and lens systems of the eyes subtends the 
foveae. In other words, the juncture of blue and red just 
about overlaps the margin between the areas of the retinas 
that are rich in cones and those that are rich in rods. The 
overlap increases our perception of changes taking place at 
entoptic levels. In Pleiades , we move from a situation where 
with unadapted eyes we see nothing at all save our own 
systems, through intermediate perceptual states where in¬ 
trinsic light cannot be distinguished from extrinsic light, to a 
situation where our fully adapted eyes can determine that 
there is definitely an area of light out there, although it 
remains indistinct. Looking at virtually nothing for a long 
period is an uncommon art experience, but what happens is 
of considerable interest. Our increased visual awareness 
makes threshold light perceptible, and we see things that 
are barely visible. Some of these things are within our¬ 
selves. By focusing on the fundamental aspects of vision, 
we virtually see our own rods firing and sense the molecular 
transformations taking place in our own rhodopsin. We lit¬ 
erally perceive events engendered by just a few photons of 
light. Such perception is difficult to explain. The light is 
there and in no way indefinite. Indeed, in some ways, it is 
more definite than the light of normal experience. Rather 
than being illumination on something else, the light has its 
own place, and although it hardly exists at all, it possesses 
great intensity. We see light as light. 

»» » 

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Christian rock' music? Linking God and rock n roll breaks 
tradition and gains in popularity. Articles on Page 66. 

When KLAC’s Jim Healy reports sports, it’s asfun filh d as a 
three-ring circus. Article by Patrick Goldstein on Page 5. 


i “You want to work with 
space? This is space," 
N said James Turrell as he dug 
his heels into the black sandy 
slope N of Roden Crater, a 
500,000-year-old volcano, and 
gazed across northern Arizo¬ 
na’s spectacular landscape. 

Turrell’s beloved space rises 
above the Painted Desert, dry, 
chiseled, sparsely populated 
country where the air is crisp, 
the sky is clear and the des¬ 
ert's soft colors take your 
breath away. Nature has done 
such extraordinary painting 
and sculpture here that art 
made by human beings seems 
redundant or trivial. 

But it’s the perfect place for 
Turrell, 40, an uncommon art¬ 
ist and perceptual psychologist 
who works with light and 
space to develop concepts that 
embrace the land and the 
heavens. He has chosen Roden 
Crater—which he purchased 
through an art foundation for 
$64,000 in 1977-for an aston¬ 
ishing project of staggering 

Turrell is doing nothing less 
than transforming a volcano 
into an environment that will 
function as an observatory of 
celestial events and perceptual 

Those who make the pil¬ 
grimage to Roden Crater, 
about 45 miles northeast of 

perjences in a state of height¬ 
ened "sensitivity and splendid 


They will enter and observe 
various effects in several 
carved-out rooms 4 ‘$ttuned to 
periodic astronomical v events 
and changing atmospheric 
conditions" before passing 
through a 1,035-foot tunnels 
leading up to the largest space, 
the crater. Some spaces, in¬ 
cluding the crater, will be 
shaped to accentuate celestial 
vaulting—a phenomenon that 
makes the sky appear to form a 
domed ceiling over them. Oth¬ 
er enclosures will have open¬ 
ings aligned with particular 
celestial events and will func¬ 
tion as pinhole cameras, thus 
making images of planets on 
their walls. 

When finished—about six 
years from now—it is expected 
to be one of the most important 
artworks of this century. 
Count Giuseppe Panza di Biu- 
mo, who has installed two of 
Turreirs works in his villa in 
Varese, Italy, has called Roden 
Crater “the Sistine Chapel of 

“Roden Crater will be a 
vinique observatory of the 
heavens,” says a brochure on 
the project. “It’s the music of 
the spheres, played out in light 
by the sun, moon, stars and 
ambient light,” said Turrell as 
he climbed the deceptively 

here, park their cars at an 

Aha»rvatinn nnint nnri 

steep side of the mountain 

r^ninr Itahi u ru\ nl mrk.sjnViPrP 

ist and perceptual psychologist 
who works with light and 
space to develop concepts that 
embrace the land and the 
heavens. He has chosen Roden 
Crater—which he purchased 
through an art foundation for 
$64,000 in 1977-for an aston¬ 
ishing project of staggering 

Turreil is doing nothing less 
than transforming a volcano 
into an environment that will 
function as an observatory of 
celestial events and perceptual 

Those who make the pil¬ 
grimage to Roden Crater, 
about 45 miles northeast of 
here, park their cars at an 
observation point and recep¬ 
tion area on a mesa about three 
miles away and walk along a 
curved path to the mountain. 

No more than four people * 
^wilLfae allowed lfi Vt one time 
“"and they will be encouraged to 
stay at least 24 hours, spending 
the night at the site and wit¬ 
nessing an entire cycle of ex- 

maiung images of planets on 
their walls. 

When finished—about six 
years from now—it is expected 
to be one of the most important 
artworks of this century. 
Count Giuseppe Panza di Biu- 
mo, who has installed two of 
Turrell's works in his villa in 
Varese, Italy, has called Roden 
Crater "the Sistine Chapel of 

"Roden Crater will be a 
unique observatory of the 
heavens," says a brochure on 
the project. "It's the music of 
the spheres, played out in light 
by the sun, moon, stars and 
ambient light," said Turreil as 
he climbed the deceptively 
steep side of the mountain. 

Color, light and atmosphere 
will change slowly throughout 
each day and from season to 
season* -*and each space will 
have "a day and a night as¬ 
pect." This slow, nearly im¬ 
perceptible "rhythm" will be 
punctuated by the "drum 
beats" of sunrise, sunset, plan- 
Please ? Turn to Page 100 

James Turreil, above, is transforming the extinct Arizona volcano 
shown behind him into a gigantic piece of environmental art for 
observing celestial events and experiencing perceptual phenomena/ 
When its finished—about six years from now—Turrell's work is 
expected to be an art-world 
sensation. /" 


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Continued from First Puije 
etary movement and other heavenly 
happenings, both rare and relatively 
frequent. Every 18.G years, for example, 
the moon will appear to fill the upper end 
of the tunnel. Other events calculated 
into the project will not happen during 
Turrell’s hfetime. but future generations 
-ofvisitors can see them. ---~~ 


“I make sensing spaces that are sensi¬ 
tive to space outside them," said Turrell. 
“Choosing the light that enters and 
deciding how the spaces are formed 
determines what is sensed. 1 ' In his envi¬ 
ronments inside museums and galleries, 
Turrell has constructed magical spaces, 
making people believe that solid walls 
have dissolved and that barriers exist 
where there are none. (His 1980 exhibi¬ 
tion at the Whitney Museum of American 
Art in New York took a bizarre twist 
when a woman who leaned on “a wall 
that wasn’t there” fell, broke her wrist 
and sued for damages. The suit was 
finally settled for $15,000. The same piece 
was shown in the Netherlands with no 

Turrell deals with light as a physical 
presence. At Roden Crater, he wants 
♦‘the piece to play on the sense of 
something being there, almost like a 
glassing up of the surface. All the spaces 
will be open but they will seem to have 
closure. A shaped space shapes the sky 
above you. You scrape a little (of the 
earth) away here and check upjhere (in 
the sky) lo see what’s happening. Thai’s 
literally what we’ve been doing.” 

Turrell has done considerably more 
than “scrape a little” during the decade 
he has been involved in the project. A 
large part of the wonder of it is that he 
has persisted. Tenacity is a long-culti¬ 
vated habit for the quiet, even-tempered 


artiot u/Ka i 

it 1 \; uvnluinc hie imiienal 

Above, artist James Turrell draws 
on an aerial photo of the Roden 
Crater, working the colors into the 
photograph with his finger, right. 

* irfffflnrBl 

■■■■' L; ; ' \U " 

distance across the concave opening is 
equal to three football fields. That’s big 
for an artwork—even for the sort tackled 
by the likes of Christo and Michael 
Heizer—but, as craters go, it’s rather 
modest. This cinder cone that rises about 
600 feet from the surrounding piain looks 
at first like a flat-topped mountain. Its 
red crown expands into a wide band of 
black with tapered ends that sits softly on 
a shaggy beige desert carpet. Walking 
around the mountain, one discovers that 
it is not a smooth mound but a complex 
structure of many levels. Flying over it 
in a small plane piloted by Turrell, one 
sees Roden Crater undulate and unfold 
like a flower. “Those are pretty voluptu¬ 
ous shapes,” he said. “I’m one of the few. 
artists to really 'work with the female 

Turrell chose Roden Crater for its 
availability, suitability and—not least— 
for its beauty. “I wanted to find a place 
that has its own power and work in phase 
with it,” he said. He likens the project to 
“a Japanese garden, which does not look 
man-made, but merges into nature.” 
When the work is finished, observers will 
see no changes in the natural form until 
they climb the slope and enter Turrell’s 
shaped “sensing spaces.” Only a handful 
of artists work in ways similar to him, but 
he sees a parallel between his art and 
such ancient sites as Iierodium in the 
Judean desert, Old Sarum in England and 
the Jai Singh non-telescopic observatory 
at Jaipur, India. He also 
speaks of Roden Crater’s 
affinity with bunker ar¬ 
chitecture, except for the 
spaces’ skyward ori¬ 

With the help of the Dia 
Art Foundation (which 
has financed such outdoor 
projects as Waiter de Mar¬ 
ia's “Lightning Field,” in 
New Mexico), Turrell 
bought his mountain for 
$64,000 on a parcel of 


Cnma 1 1 fVA 

—.iuc auu was 

finally settled for $15,000. The same piece 
was shown in the Netherlands with no 

Turrcll deals with light as a physical 
presence. At Roden Crater, he wants 
‘ the piece to play on the sense of 
something being there, almost like a 
glassing up of the surface. All the spaces 
will be open but they will seem to have 
closure. A shaped space shapes the sky 
above you. You scrape a little (of the 
earth) away here and cheek up there (in 
the sky) io see what's happening. Thai's 
literally what we’ve been doing." 

Tut roll has done considerably more 
than "scrape a little” during the decade 
he has been involved in the project. A 
large part of the wonder of it is that he 
as persisted. Tenacity is a long-culti¬ 
vated habit for the quiet, even-tempered 
artist who patiently explains his unusual 
project to all who are interested. 

As a youngster in Pasadena with a 
mother who counseled him "never to do 
anything with a small spoon,” Turrell 
became very involved in woodworking 
and built boats (real ones not toys) and 
g> sold them. His father, an aeronautical 
~ engineer, died when Turrell was 14 and 
~ 100 Y° un g t0 fully understand his occupa- 

d lion, but when he inherited his father’s 
Cl, aii craft manuals he put them to work by 

< restoring vintage aircraft. Today Turrell 
ins *sts that he uses “high school technol- 

< ogy” and only fixes simple things he 
^ understands, but his range of skills and 
►3 immaculate craftsmanship are amazing 
00 Ever y wood surface, every piece of 

hardware, every box that holds an in¬ 
strument is restored to mint condition. 
ce, Questioned about the perfection he de- 

< mands of his handiwork, he said, 

S 1 here ’ 3 no reason not to. That’s what 
makes it fun.” 

< A 196 5 graduate of Pomona College 
U (where he changed his major from 
mathematics to perceptual psychology) 
Turrell studied art at UC Irvine in the 
mid - '60s and earned a master’s degree in 

2 ?nL at the Clarem °nl Graduate School in 
« 1J73. Between these two periods of 
KS Post-graduate study, he.worked, with 

4> acc iiu 

Above, artist James Turrell draws 
on an aerial photo of the Roden 
Crater, working the colors into the 
photograph with his finger, right 

- artist Robert Irwin and Edward Wortz of. 

the Garrett Corp. on the County Museum 

of Art s experimental "Art and Technol¬ 
ogy project. “We didn’t produce any¬ 
thing for the show, but we did research in 
perceptual things,” said Turrell "We 
studied for two years, all three of us, and 
it affected all of our lives. It was quite a 

time, like graduate school after graduate 

i P ' 10 ' and a master of many other 
skills but never a conventional artist 
Turrell set up his Venice studio to 
orchestrate a play of automobile head¬ 
lights filtered through louvered windows 
and he began to build "sensing spaces” in 
galieries. He won an award of $6,500 from 

loro 1 ^ 1 ' 01121 Endowment for the Arts in 
1J68 but has supported himself primarily 
by renovating and selling antique air- 
, planes. By 1974, when he won a Guggen¬ 
heim fellowship of $12,500, he was work¬ 
ing on the possibility of taking his work 

I put the Guggenheim grant into fuel 
and spent seven months flying every day 
over the Western states looking-for a 
site, he said. lie flew systematically 
from Canada to Mexico and from the 
western slopes of the Rockies to the 
Pacific coast. "If you’re going to do it 
(select a site fgr an extensive project) ' 

you want to have a good one.” 

Turrell discovered that the western 
part of the United States was largely 
empty away from its roads and that there 
were several possible locations for his 
project, each suggesting a different set of 
problems and solutions. As he winnowed 
them down and determined which were 
privately owned and thus potentially 
available, he settled on Roden Crater. It 
lies about halfway between Sunset Cra¬ 
ter and Wupatki National Monuments in 
the San Francisco Volcanic Field of 273 


1 rying to help people imagine the size 
o Roden Crater, Turrell says that it is a 
ittle wider than Manhattan, a little taller , 
than' the Chrysler Building and that the' 

_ ■ inaiijn in me natural form until 

»they climb the slope and enter TurrelTs 
« shaped "sensing spaces.” Only a handful 
J of artists work in ways similar to him, but 
W he sees a parallel between his art and 
psuch ancient sites as Herodium in the 
t Judean desert, Old Sarum in England and 
g the Jai Singh non-telescopic observatory 
at Jaipur, India. He also 
speaks of Roden Crater’s 
affinity with bunker ar¬ 
chitecture, except for the 
spaces' skyward ori¬ 

With the help of the Dia 
Art Foundation (which 
has financed such outdoor 
projects as Walter de Mar¬ 
ia’s "Lightning Field,” in 
New Mexico), Turrell 
bought his mountain for 
$64,000 on a parcel of 
some 1,100 acres. Thus 
began an enormously 
complex process involving 
the study of astronomy 
(with the help of E. C. 
Krupp of the Griffith Park 
Observatory and Richard 
Walker of the U.S. Naval 
Observatory in Flagstaff), 
as well as geological sur¬ 
veys, construction, me¬ 
chanics and fund-raising. 

He also has done extensive 
photography, aided by 
Ivan Curtis in aerial proj¬ 
ects and by Apogee in special effects. 

In 1977 Turrell hired Michael Yost, a 
jovial man-of-many-trades, as project 
director. Yost’s job is to deal with 
contractors who say, "You gonna do 
what? Sure you are. Get outa here, boy.” 
The workmen don’t just think he and 
Turrell are crazy, according to Yost, 
"They’re certain of it." 

For a time Turrell lived in a trailer • 
near the crater. In 1979. he set up an 
office in a former laboratory of the 
Museum of Northern Arizona (a center of 
archeology) and later rented an adjacent 
house for his family on museum property 
in Flagstaff. Now he and Yost hold forth 
in a lovely ojd stone building with an 
immaculate wljjtg interior, carefully 


filkd with meticulously kept files, bound 
records of past projects, drawing tables, 
cameras, simulators, office equipment 
and cabinets of gleaming instruments. 

Working alone, with Yost and with 
incredulous contractors, Turrell has 
planned extensively, put in roads, fenced 
the property, graded part of the crater, 
completed initial surveys and done aerial 
photography, often buying and renovat¬ 
ing military surplus equipment to hold 
costs down. He has spent “just short of 
$400,000“' on the project-including 
about $300,000 from Dia—and anticipates 
a total price tag of $3.2 million. 

_Initially he hoped that-Dia, would 

finance the entire project, but when the 
economy soured a few years ago, founda¬ 
tion administrators pulled back and said 
he couldn’t count on them. He has 
continued to receive Dia funds but he 
must apply for them annually with no 
assurance that they will be forthcoming. 

Faced with the loss of Dia's pocketbook 
and with mounting costs, Turrell set up a 
public foundation to pay for and maintain 
the project. Skystone Foundation became 
an entity about a year and a half ago. On 
its board of directors are Yost; Julia 
Brown, curator of the Museum of Con¬ 
temporary Art; Julie Sylvester, formerly 
of Dia; Herman Bliebtreu, an anthropolo¬ 
gist at the University of Arizona and 
former director of the Museum of North¬ 
ern Arizona, and Melinda Wortz, art 
critic and director of the gallery at UC 

Undaunted by Roden Crater's vora¬ 
cious appetite for money, Turrell says tne 
project has grown much more complex 


and interesting because he didn't have all 
the funds he needed j,o build it right away 
ancl thus s Pent time thinking about and 
developing its potential. As for Skystone, 
he says, “It's better that way. More 
peopife can be involved in a public 
foundation than in a private one (such as 
Dia). When we sent out the first letter 
asking for help, the first check that came 
Jn was from Richard Diebenkorn. We've 
had"good response from artists. I didn't 
expect that." 

“My MO has been to show (artworks in 
galleries) in the fall, have wihleT~f0T^ 
raising funds and work through the 
spring and summer till the money runs 
out," Turrell said. He makes beautiful 
drawings on aerial photographic views of 
the crater for exhibition and sale in 
galleries, but they are also tools for the 
project. “I need the information on the 
drawings," he said, “so I make prints of 
them to keep here." (A show of Turrell's 
drawings is at Flow Ace Gallery, 8373 
Melrose Ave., to April 14.) 

Though his pursuit of money has led to 
“a lot of rich dinners,” he recently 
received an award from the John D. and 
Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation as 
unexpected manna from heaven. Turrell 
and Irwin were the first visual artists 
ever to win the prestigious award. From 
it, Turrell will receive $204,000 in 
monthly allotments over a period of five 
years and Skystone will receive $75,000. 
He also has an NEA grant for $50,000 
that must be matched three to one. The 
MacArthur award wili help assure the 
success of the matching drive, but to¬ 
gether they arc only a large drop in the 


Turrell continues to create drawings 
and sculptural spaces to keep his name 
alive in the art sphere and to raise 
money. He also refurbishes old planes, 
trucks and other equipment, mostly on 
the museum grounds where he lives and 
keeps his pristine office. This mechanical 
and woodworking activity is a means of 
income, but it's also a cherished activity 
for a man who confesses, “I picked a job 
that could utilize all the equipment I love. 
My view of art deals with the difference 
^between potential and kinetic energy. I 
like the kinetic kind better. I like to fix 
things up and get them out into the 

With some grant funds in hand and 
having recently taken over a small 
aircraft dealership, Turrell will proceed 
to tackle the “big-money jobs" on the 
crater—finishing the grading and build¬ 
ing the tunnel. As earth is removed from 
sides of the crater it is packed in the 
center in water, brought in from a nearby 
well. Once contours have been adjusted, 
they will be covered with 18 inches of 
preserved topsoil (returning the area to 
its original compaction and stability) and 
planted with natural desert grasses. As 
the grasses turn from yellow to red to 
white with the changing seasons and 
meet the blue sky above them, they will 
form blushes of color in a changing 
palette Areas of black sand on the 
mountain normally absorb light, but 
when covered with snow, they will 
underlight his spaces. 

The tunnel (expected to cost about 
$700,000 and to allow visitors to advance 
to the sky without being conscious of the 
walls around them) will be dug by 
inserting curved steel I-beams, 12 feet in 
diameter, and lining walls with wood. All 
surfaces of the tunnel and smaller spaces 
along the tunnel and in a fumerole (side 
vent) will be finished with the aggregate 
that makes up the surface of the moun¬ 
tain. Floors will be covered with sand of 
the same color. Once the excavation is 
complete, Turrell will restore the ecology 
that has been disturbed in the process. 

Turrell's" acute sensitivity to space 
seems directly related to his passion for 
flying. His ability to make that passion 
contagious is a result of his ability to 
“remove an experience and put a frame 
around it." Though much work remains 
to be done before people can fully 
appreciate what he’s up to, it's already 
easy to see the hemispherical cap (celes¬ 
tial vault) over the crater when standing 
inside it. Driving away from Roden 
Crater late one afternoon, Turrell com¬ 
mented, “In the clear desert, night 
doesn’t fall, it rises." As if on command, a 
ribbon of dark blue slowly rose from the 
horizon of the desert floor, squeezing 
against a pink halo and giving visitors 
goose bumps. 

“The first time 1 saw his work, it made 
my socks roll up and down," said Yost. 
“Rut you wouldn't believe what people 
think is going on out here They think 
we’re building a UFO landing pad or a 
parking lot for a CIA air strip. The lunny 
thing about it is that the project is more 
incredible than all the stories.” □ 

of Dia ; Herman Dliebtreu, an anthropolo¬ 
gist at the University of Arizona and 
former director of the Museum of North¬ 
ern Arizona, and Melinda Wortz, art 
critic and director of the gallery at UC 

Undaunted by Itoden Crater's vora¬ 
cious appetite for money, Turrell says tne 

project has grown much more complex 

ever to win the prestigious award. From 
it, Turrell will receive $204,000 in 
monthly allotments over a period of five 
years and Skystone will receive $75,000. 
lie also has an NEA grant for $50,000 
that must be matched three to one. The 
Mac Arthur award will help assure the 
success of the matching drive, but to¬ 
gether they arc only a large drop in the 

iu ui i^mui wiiiputuuu umu oiuuimjr / auu 

planted with natural desert grasses. As 
the grasses turn from yellow to red to 
white with the changing seasons and 
meet the blue sky above them, they will 
form blushes of color in a changing 
palette. Areas of black sand on the 
mountain normally absorb light, but 
when covered with snow, they will 
underlight his spaces. 

ugutiioi u pints, niiiu ctnu giving vianuia 

goose bumps. 

. “The first time I saw his work, it made 
my socks roll up and down," said Yost. 
“Rut you wouldn't believe what people 
think is going on out here They think 
we’re building a UFO landing pad or a 
parking lot for a CIA air strip. The lunny 
thing about it is that the project is more 
incredible than all the stories/’ □ 





James Turrell lies near the center of 
Roden Crater and looks heavenward 
to check the celestial^vaulting effect. 




w '' ^ Sam 

. fflmH 

It Whs 

ii 1 iSf ^wamm 

•• v 

i-Ji.- ’if: «• 

• ■ .Vv. . S. 





Front: Rayzor 1982 Room installation with daylight and fluorescent light 8ft 7in x 16ft 6in 
Inside: the artist flying above Roden Crater 1982 




TELEPHONE 071-499 4100 FACSIMILE 071-493 4443 


Knowing Light 


" ...Turrell's Roden Crater will almost certainly turn out to be the first, 
great enduring work of the new century." - The New York Times 

Special thanks to our opening 





Henry Art Gallery Board of Trustees and Director Richard Andrews invite you 
to a preview and opening reception for the exhibition: 

JAMES |TUR RELL Knowing Light 

James Turrell's remarkable creations isolate light, giving it form, depth, and 
mass. The Henry premieres three new light installations along with a selection 
of drawings and models of Turrell's Roden Crater project. 

Friday, March 21, 9:00 pm - midnight 

General: $10 / Students, Seniors with i.d.: $8 / Henry Members: FREE 
More information: 206 543.2281 or 

Knowing Light is on view in the Stroum Gallery through October 5, 2003. 

Join the Henry and receive free admission for 2 to the party plus passes to 
the exclusive Members' Preview from 7:30-9:00. Log-on at 
or call 206 616.8781. 

James Turrell: Knowing Light, organized by Henry Art Gallery Director Richard Andrews, is sponsored by 
the Henry Art Gallery's Contemporary Art Fund, the Allen Foundation for the Arts, PONCHO, NBBJ Group. 
In-kind support provided by the Grand Hyatt Seattle: KrekowJenningsInc.; KUOW Public Radio; L.C. 
Jergens Painting Co.; Northwest Partitions: and Rainier Industries, Ltd. Image: James Turrell, Wind Out, 
1998. Courtesy of James Turrell and MAK Vienna. 

Henry Art Gallery 

University of Washington 
Box 351410 

15th Avenue NE at NE 41st Street 
Seattle, WA 98195 

Also opening March 21: 

Gillian Wearing's video installation, 10-16 

On view in the north galleries: 

Arlene Shechet: Building 

Skyspace Webcam: 

Watch the construction of the Henry's 
permanent James Turrell skyspace at 


*****.********t*t****»**.*£Q R LQJ„ 



LOS ANGELES CA 90036-4597 

Non-Profit Org. 
U.S. Postage 

Seattle, WA 
Permit No. 62 


Knowing Light includes walk-in installations limited in their capacity to accommodate large crowds. All reception guests will be issued a free pass 
to return to the museum for another look. The exclusive members’ only preview provides Henry Art Gallery members a rare opportunity to view 
the works before the public reception. 

James Turrell 

The Light Within 

Installation, Drawings & Holograms 

September 4 - October 25, 2003 

Opening Reception 
September 4, 2002 
5:30 - 7:30 pm 


TEL: 415.397.8114 FAX: 415.397.8115 e-mail: 

Image: "Rise/' from the Shallow Space Construction series, 2002 
Photo courtesy of the Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. 
Photo credit: Florian Holzherr 



Hayward Gallery, The South Bank Centre, London, 8 April - 27 June 1993 

“My work is about space and the light that inhabits it. It is about how you con¬ 
front that space and plumb it. It is about your seeing. How you come to it is 
important. The qualities of the space must be seen, and the architecture of the form 
must not be dominant. I am really interested in the qualities of one space sensing 
another. It is like looking at someone looking. Objectivity is gained by being once 
removed. As you plumb a space with vision, it is possible to ‘see yourself see’. This 
seeing, this plumbing, imbues space with consciousness. By how you decide to see 
it and where you are in relation to it, you create its reality. The piece can change 
as you move to it or within it. It can also change as the light source that enters it 

“By making something out of light with light filling space, I am concerned with 
issues of how we perceive. It’s not only a reaction to things physical. For me, work¬ 
ing with light in large spaces was more a desire to work in greater realms, a desire 
that art not be limited to the European structure of works on canvas.” 

“The sites I like to use are ones that, in general, have no function, spaces that are 
really only inhabited by consciousness. This inhabiting of space by consciousness is 
the entry of self into space through the penetration of vision, which is not limited 
to just that received by the eyes but also has to do with the entry of self into that 
which is ‘seen’. A lot of spaces are interesting to me when they’re generated not by 
the architecture of form but by the overlay of thought. I’m also interested in public 
places that are devoid of their function - Mayan and Egyptian ruins, for example, 
and places such as Mesa Verde. These civilizations adapted natural amphitheatres 
by building within them to create civic spaces. The fact that they are places of cere¬ 
mony and ritual and are themselves physically powerful makes them meaningful. 
The impact of the space of the Gothic cathedral, for example, and the light within 
it is much more interesting to me than the rhetoric that is spoken there.” 

“My desire is to set up a situation to which I take you and let you see. It becomes 
your experience.” 

“Moving from twilight into night is a time when visual changes occur rapidly. 
Experiences of weather are amazing. If you’re going through a fog, using 
Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) into the clear, you take off and enter the clouds, and 
just before you break out on top, there’s a moment in which the clouds take on the 
colour of the sky. . . . Early on I was struck by Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s descrip¬ 
tion of flight spaces in his books Wind, Sand and Stars and Night Flight. He 
described spaces in the skies, spaces within space, not necessarily delineated by 
cloud formations or weather, but by light qualities, by seeing, and by the nature of 
the air in certain areas. For me, flying really dealt with these spaces delineated by 
air conditions, by visual penetration, by sky conditions; some were visual, some 
were only felt. These are the kinds of spaces I wanted to work with - very large 
amounts of space, dealing with as few physical materials as I could.” 

“Roden Crater is a volcanic crater located in an area of exposed geology, the 
Painted Desert, an area where you feel geologic time. You have a strong feeling of 
standing on the surface of the planet. Within that setting, I am making spaces that 
will engage celestial events. Several spaces will be sensitive to starlight and will be 
literally empowered by the light of stars millions of light years away. The gathered 
starlight will inhabit that space, and you will be able to feel the physical presence 
of that light.” 

“In working with light, what is really important to me is to create an experience of 
wordless thought, to make the quality and sensation of light itself something really 
quite tactile. It has a quality seemingly intangible, yet it is physically felt. Often 
people reach out to try to touch it. Light is not so much something that reveals, as 
it is itself the revelation.” 

From James Turrell, Occluded Front , edited by Julia Brown, Fellows of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 

The Lapis Press and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 1985. 


Born Pasadena, California, 1943. Quaker family. Father an aeronautical engineer 
and educator; mother trained as medical doctor and later worked in Peace Corps. 
Obtained pilot’s licence when 16 years old. Subsequently flew supplies to remote 
mine sites and worked as an air cartographer. Also restores vintage aeroplanes. 
Received BA degree in perceptual psychology from Pomona College 1965. Studied 
mathematics, geology and astronomy there too. Graduate studies in art at 
University of California, Irvine 1965-6; MA degree in art from Claremont 
Graduate School 1973. Acquired Roden Crater, an extinct volcano in the Arizona 
desert, in 1979, after 7 continuous months spent flying over the western United 
States in search of a suitable site. Lives in Flagstaff, Arizona. 


To complement the exhibition, The South Bank Centre has published James 
Turrell, Air Mass, a book developed by the artist in collaboration with Mark 
Holborn. Using Turrell’s own words, drawings and photographs it explores the 
interests and influences which have informed his work. It includes extracts from 
interviews with Turrell as well as drawings and photographs of light installations 
and the Roden Crater project. 


James Turrell’s installations are best experienced either alone or with a small num¬ 
ber of other people. It takes time for one’s eyes to adapt to the reduced light and 
explore the space it occupies. 

We shall need, therefore, to limit the number of people within the installations at 
any one time. We realize this procedure is unconventional, but ask for your co¬ 
operation and patience. 

As part of an educational “Points of Reference” programme devised by the 
South Bank Centre, artists are available in the Gallery to talk about James Turrell’s 
work and to provide information (except between 10 and 11 am). 

Exhibition organized by Susan Ferleger Brades, assisted by Christine Taylor. 

Guide designed by Herman Lelie, Typeset by Goodfellow &c Egan, Printed by Terracotta Press. 

selected individual exhibitions 

Pasadena Art Museum, Pasadena, California, 1967 

Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 1976 

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1980 

Center on Contemporary Art, Seattle, 1982 

The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 1983 

Musee d’Art Modeme de la Ville de Paris, 1983 

The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 1985 

Kunsthalle, Basel, 1987 

Musee d’Art Contemporain, Nimes, 1989 

Florida State University Gallery and Museum, Tallahassee, 1989 


National Endowment for the Arts, artist fellowship grant, 1968 
Guggenheim fellowship, 1974 

National Endowment for the Arts, Art in Public Places 
commission for Roden Crater Project, 1975 

Dia Art Foundation, 1977 

Arizona Commission on the Arts and Humanities, 
visual arts fellowship, 1980 

New York Section Illuminating Engineering Society with 
the International Association of Lighting Designers, 

Lumen Award, 1981 

Mac Arthur Foundation fellowship, 1984 

selected references 

Adcock, Craig. James Turrell (exhibition catalogue). 
Tallahassee, FL: Florida State University Gallery and 
Museum, 1989 

Brown, Julia, ed. Occluded Front: James Turrell 
(exhibition catalogue). Los Angeles, CA: The Museum 
of Contemporary Art, 1985 

first light 

twenty etchings 
by james turrell 

The Museum of Modern Art, New York 
The Tatyana Grosman Gallery 
July 26-November 13, 1990 

ugru within darkness. The image conjures up 
human longing, extending from the mystical to the 
intellectual, from the poetic to the existential. James 
Turrell’s suite of twenty aquatint etchings provides such 
illumination and leads the viewer into an area not 
commonly explored in contemporary art. Using a 
familiar vocabulary of geometric forms inspired by the 
unexpected medium of light, Turrell creates a perception 
of movement from print to print that transports the viewer 
into a meditative realm. Our worldly, late twentieth- 
century preoccupations are bypassed, and our capacity for 
awe is expanded. 

Turrell, born in California in 1943, has used light as an 
artistic medium since the mid-sixties, when he first 
gained national attention as one of a group of West Coast 
artists who, in an untraditional fashion, investigated the 
effects of light and space on perception. Turrell has gone 
on to create participatory installations at numerous sites 
in Europe and the United States. For the last ten years he 

has been absorbed in a monumental environmental 
artwork in which natural light illuminates tunnels and 
underground chambers at Roden Crater, a volcanic cinder 
cone in the Arizona desert. 

The images in the First Light aquatints (1989-90)—aside 
from Meeting , which relates to a permanently installed 
sky piece of 1980—derive from Turrell’s projected-light 
installations of 1967, which incorporate the walls and 
corners of rooms. Nineteen prints are grouped in series 
based on the shapes created by those earlier light 
projections: rectangles, triangles, cubes, and vertical 
shafts. In the light pieces from which they draw their 
imagery the shapes remained constant, but the viewer’s 
perceptions of them altered as he or she shifted position 
in the room. In contrast, when the prints in each group 
are viewed in sequence, the white shapes themselves 
appear to be moving. Since each print refers to a 
different installation, it is only the series format that 
creates this sense of movement, prompting in the viewer 

the kind of sensory voyage that is typical of Turrell’s 
work. Although the artist has a background in 
psychology and has experimented scientifically with 
perception, his artworks, through the vehicle of 
luminosity, are mystical and revelatory. 

In this exhibition of the First Light prints, Turrell has 
created an environment comprised of works on paper that 
achieves some of the effect of his installations. The walls 
and the room at large are in semidarkness and only the 
prints are illuminated, transforming the gallery into a 
meditation room. Looking at each series of prints, we see 
a range of forms and experience a variety of responses, 
from the purity and authority of solid shapes, to the 
anxiety provoked by a parallelogram amid rectangles, to 
the spirituality inherent in vertical light, to the mystery of 
cubes and triangles hovering in atmospheres resembling 
distant galaxies. 

In Series C, illustrated here, the imagery proceeds from 

the illusion of a solid that is as absolute as a Minimal 
sculpture to that of a flat painting on a wall, implying an 
opening into infinity but actually representing the 
thinnest sheet of light. Geometric lines convey 
rationality and stability and also relate to the tradition of 
geometric abstraction in painting. The security that such 
shapes provide allows the viewer to let go imaginatively 
and move into a visionary realm. The effect, from print 
to print, is trance-like and mesmerizing. Any anxiety that 
might accompany perceptual confusion, or the experience 
of the unknown, is mitigated by hints of floor, ceiling, 
and corners that orient the viewer. And by exploiting the 
potential of the grainy surface of the aquatint medium to 
suggest the pervasive effect of light particles, the artist 
creates a porous, airy atmosphere, instead of a suffocating 

First Light is the third of Turrell’s print projects, all of 
which were published by Peter Blum Edition in New 
York and printed with Peter Kneubiihler of Zurich. His 

Ondoe, Series C, from the suite First Light. 

Phantom, Series C, from the suite First Light. 

previous projects were portfolios, which the artist has 
described as being “about” his work. They relate 
primarily to his continuing immersion in the Roden 
Crater project, and capture both its scientific foundations 
and its deeply evocative ambience through maps, site 
plans, geological charts, and mysterious nighttime 
images. In contrast, Turrell characterizes the First Light 
aquatints as “like” his work, in that they involve the 
viewer directly with the experiential aspects of his 
investigations. With titles such as Shanta, Catso, Afrum, 
Aero, and Enm (sounds invented by the artist), the prints 
constitute a catalogue in the form of an artwork: they 
survey Turrell’s Projection Pieces of 1967, installations 
which themselves can never be shown together because 
light from one would disturb light from another. 

Although linked to the visual tradition of painting, 
Turrell’s work employs the mediums of light and space in 
their tangible manifestations. His often uncanny 
achievements alter our perceptions and provide an 
enriching dialogue between illusion and reality. In 
conversation, Turrell summons up the mystical nature of 
this experience when he refers to the light that enters 
medieval cathedrals, or to a theme of his Quaker 
upbringing, “going inside to greet the light.” 

Deborah Wye 

Department of Prints and Illustrated Books 

This brochure has been made possible 
through the generosity of 
The Contemporary Arts Council of 
The Museum of Modern Art. 

Cover: Afrum, Series A, from the suite First Light. 
Photographs: Orcutt Photo 

Copyright © 1990 The Museum of Modem Art, New York 


First Light. New York, Peter Blum Edition, 1989-90. 
Suite of twenty aquatints comprising five lettered series 
and one single print, each plate 397s x 2774" (99.4 x 69.2 
cm), each sheet 4274 x 29 3 /4" (107.3 x 75.6 cm). Edition 30. 
Printed by Peter Kneubiihler, Zurich. Series C, The Museum 
of Modem Art, Gift of Peter Blum Edition; all other prints 
courtesy of Peter Blum Edition, New York. 

1. Meeting 

2-6. Shanta, Catso, Afrum, Munson, Squat (Series A) 
7-9. Raethro, Alta, Gard (Series B) 

10-13. Cam, Aero, Ondoe, Phantom (Series C) 

14-17. Juke, Sloan, Fargo , Decker (Series D) 

18-20. Joecar, Emu, Tollyn (Series E) 


Born Los Angeles, California, May 6, 1943 
Resides in Flagstaff, Arizona 


Pomona College, Claremont, California. 

BA in Experimental Psychology, 1965 

University of California, Irvine. 

Graduate study in Fine Arts, 1965-66 

Claremont Graduate School, Claremont, California. 
MA in Fine Arts, 1973 


\y n / v 


The Real Comet Press announces the publication of 


Laura J. Millin, ed. 

k Publication 


Collectors' edition 


Library of Congress Catalog Number 

LlUh(>\r! Y 

OCT 0 8 1982 

L0 1mc GELES C0 °NTV 

September 1982, 3000 copies 

Limited collectors' edition, 100 copies. 


Drawings, color slides, b/w photographs 
and written materials. 

Signed and numbered with additional 
photographs and signed cyanotype print. 
12" x 9" x 5/8 " oblong, boxed. 

$15. Collectors' edition $100. 


0-941104-03-6 Collectors' edition. 

82-50491 Collectors' edition. 

James Turrell: Four Light Installations documents the inaugural exhibition of the Center On 
Contemporary Art, Seattle. It contains black and white photographs of the four installations, 
color slides, a floor plan of the exhibition, a reproduction of one of the artist's working drawings 
and a collection of written materials including interviews with the artist, an essay on the exhibition, 
biography and a bibliography. The collectors' edition contains a signed cyanotype print of the 
artist's drawing and additional photographs. It is limited to 100 copies, signed and numbered. 

James Turrell has been working in California and Arizona since the mid-sixties. His carefully 
controlled and built environments, simple descriptions of physical reality, are sublime in their 
effect. Through them he manipulates the physical properties of light, enhancing its qualities 
as a substance and confronting the viewer's perceptions. Turrell's most ambitious "installation" 
is the Roden Crater Project, a work in progress 45 miles northeast of Flagstaff, Arizona. There 
he is reworking a nearly symmetrical volcanic cone to heighten the phenomena known as 
"celestial vaulting," a tendency of the human eye to perceive sky as a finite,_domed space. 

Turrell's work has been widely viewed in Europe, and in the past two years, gained recognition 
in the United States, most notably in his 1980-81 retrospective at the Whitney Museum of 
American Art and the exhibition of four works presented by the Center On Contemporary Art, 

January 29th through July 29th, 1982. An installation of his was included in the 74th American 
Exhibition at the Chicago Art Institute this summer and others will be featured in exhibitions 
at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Gallery in the 
winter of 1983. Pieces by Turrell have recently been acquired by the Seattle Art Museum, the 
Chicago Art Institute, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and the Whitney Museum, 

New York City. 

The Center On Contemporary Art organized to serve as a catalyst and forum for contemporary art. 

The Center's focus to stimulate, support and present new activity in the visual arts will make 
regional, national and international work accessible to the people of the Northwest. COCA's 
first exhibition is the longest public installation of Turrell's work to date. Its construction involved 
approximately 2000 hours of labor and was made possible by donations of money, time and materials 
from hundreds of individuals and local businesses, as well as a generous grant from Knoll International. 

JAMES TURRELL: FOUR LIGHT INSTALLATIONS Is available from COCA, P.O. Box 12756-4756, 
Seattle, WA, 98111, Art In Form, P.O. Box 2567, Seattle, WA, 98111, selected museum shops and 

Exhibition at the Chicago Art Institute this summer and others will be featured in exhibitions 
at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Gallery in the 
winter of 1983. Pieces by Turrell have recently been acquired by the Seattle Art Museum, the 
Chicago Art Institute, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and the Whitney Museum, 

New York City. 

The Center On Contemporary Art organized to serve as a catalyst and forum for contemporary art. 

The Center's focus to stimulate, support and present new activity in the visual arts will make 
regional, national and international work accessible to the people of the Northwest. COCA's 
first exhibition is the longest public installation of Turrell's work to date. Its construction involved 
approximately 2000 hours of labor and was made possible by donations of money, time and materials 
from hundreds of individuals and local businesses, as well as a generous grant from Knoll International. 

JAMES TURRELL: FOUR LIGHT INSTALLATIONS is available from COCA, P.O. Box 12756-4756, 
Seattle, WA, 98111, Art In Form, P.O. Box 2567, Seattle, WA, 98111, selected museum shops and 

"Amba" Center On Contemporary Art installation, © James Turrell 1982, photograph: Mark Sullo. 










A project commissioned by Michael Hue-Willimans Fine Art for the total solar eclipse of the Sun at 11.11am on 11 August 1999 
Tremenheere, near Penzance, Cornwall. Open until 19 September. For further information 01736 333024 

The eclipse event will be broadcast live across the internet at 

With thanks to St Ives International, Dr Neil Amstrong and Dr Jane Martin 


First Floor 21 Cork Street London W1X1HB 

Tel +44(0)171-434 1318 Fax+44(0)171-434 1321 e-mail: 

James Turrell 

"I'm interested in 
delving into 
and exploring the 
of space created 
by light. Mostly 
we have dealt 
with space by dis¬ 
placement or 
massing of form. 
The art that I 
make covers this 
ground between 
form and actually 
forming space 
using light... It is 
structured space 

without a massing 
of form. This 
quality of working 
the space in 
between so that it 
limits or expands 
the penetration of 
vision is something 
that intensely 
fascinates me." 

-James TurretI 

University of Illinois at Chicago 


College of Architecture and the Arts 
School of Art and Design 

September 22-October 30, 2004 

Gallery 400 exhibits a major gallery installation and suite 
of prints by internationally celebrated American artist 
James Turrell who describes his work as "... not minimalism 
and not conceptual work (but) perceptual work." The 
installation artwork, entitled Rayna (1979) and loaned from 
the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago, has not 
been built or exhibited in over 20 years. A deeply subtle 
work, the installation is a room divided into a 'sensing 
space' for the viewer and a space 'looked out onto.' 
Proportioned to manipulate properties of reflected light 
and of human perception, Rayna forms space through 
the relations of light and the constructed space. Rayna is 
complemented in the exhibition by some of the artist's 
only work in print media, the aquatint prints series entitled 
First Light (1989-90). The First Light prints explore space 
and form created by projected light. 

James Turrell: In Light is generously supported by Howard and Donna 
Stone, Penny Pritzker and Brian Traubert, Graham Foundation for Advanced 
Studies in the Fine Arts, The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, The Andy 
Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Daryl Gerber Stokols and Jeff 
Stokols Voices Series Fund, The College of Architecture and the Arts, 
University of Illinois at Chicago and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. 
Special assistance has been provided by the Art Institute of Chicago 
and the Milwaukee Art Museum. 

James Turrell: In Light 

September 22-October 30, 2004 

Opening Reception: 

Wednesday, September 22, 5-8 pm 

About James Turrell 

Known world-wide for his perceptual 
installations, Turrell has recently become 
nearly iconic, due to mounting interest 
in his monumental observatory Roden 
Crater. For almost thirty years Turrell has 
been working to transform the 390,000 
year old dormant volcano into a series of 
underground tunnels and skyspaces to 
capture and frame the shifting phenomena 
of the day and night desert sky. Located 
in the Painted Desert about forty miles 
north of Flagstaff, Arizona, Roden Crater 
will open in its first phase sometime 
in 2005. 

The subject of over 140 solo exhibitions worldwide, 
Turrell's work can be seen in permanent installations 
at The Henry Art Gallery, Seattle (opened July 2003) 
and The Nasher Sculpture Garden, Dallas (opened 
Oct 2003), as well as various other major museums, 
including The Museum of Fine Art, Houston; The 
Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh; P.S. 1, Long Island 
City, NY; Museum fur Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am 
Main, Germany; the Springel Museum, Hanover, 
Germany; and Panza Collection, Varese, Italy. Turrell 
is the recipient of countless grants and awards, 
including a fellowship from the John D. and Catherine 
T. Mac Arthur Foundation in 1984. The artist who 
lives in Arizona is also a pilot and cattle rancher. 

James Turrell: In Light is presented is conjunction 
with the fall/winter installation of Turrell's Gateway 
Plaza on UlC's South Campus. Gateway Plaza 
will feature one of Turrell's signature skyspaces, 
chambers for viewing the complex interplay 
of sky, light and atmosphere through a precisely 
determined aperture in the ceiling. 

For more on the exhibition and related events, please visit 


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The exhibition was made possible through 

the Betty and Edwin Bergman Visiting Artists Fund. 

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Biographical Note 

Born May 6,1943, Los Angeles, California. 
Graduated Pasadena High School, 1961, 

BA Psychology, Pomona College, 1965. Art 
graduate studies, University of California, 
Irvine, 1965-66. MA Art, Claremont 
Graduate School, 1973. He currently lives in 
Flagstaff, Arizona. 

Catalogue No. 235, The Israel Museum, 
Jerusalem, all rights reserved, 1983 
Curator: Suzanne Landau 
Photographs: Sergio Bocian, Yigal Havilio 
Design: Nirit Zur 

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Selected One-Man Shows: 

Pasadena Art Museum, Pasadena, 
California, 1967 (catalogue printed) 

Main and Hill Studio, Santa Monica, 
California, Summer 1968,1969,1970 

Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Holland, 
1976 (catalogue printed) 

Arco Center for Visual Arts, Los Angeles, 
California, 1976 (plans printed) 

Herron Gallery, Herron School of Art, 
Indianapolis, Indiana, 1980-81 

University of Arizona, Museum of Art, 
Tucson, Arizona, 1980 

Whitney Museum of American Art, New 
York City, 1980 (catalogue printed) 

Castelli Gallery, New York City, 1980-81 

Portland Center for the Visual Arts, 
Portland, Oregon, 1981 

Center on Contemporary Art, Seattle, 
Washington, 1982 (catalogue printed) 

The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 1982-83 
(leaflet printed) 

A complete list of exhibitions of Turrell’s 
work, as well as an extensive bibliography, 
are included in the following catalogues: 

James Turrell: Light and Space, Whitney 
Museum of American Art, New York City, 
October 22nd, 1980, to January 1st, 1981 

James Turrell: Four Light Installations, 
Center on Contemporary Art, Seattle, 
January 29th to July 29th, 1982. 

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James Turrell: Two Spaces 

With the discovery of perspective, painters 
began to represent the optical image of 
light moulded by the environment. They 
first developed skill in delineating the three- 
dimensional sculptural appearance of the 
object-world, later they mastered light and 
shadow as space-articulating forces, and 
finally represented space as luminous by 
dissolving solidity into light substance. The 
California artists who have sought to 
incorporate the light and space of the 
environment as media into their works 
rather than translate them into painted 
images, share the Impressionists’ desire to 
make the visual sensations of light and 
colour which they experienced out-of-doors 
the content of their work. 

Using light and space, the West Coast 
artists created installations dealing with the 
illusory nature of perception. Diverse 
artists, Larry Bell, Robert Irwin, Eric Orr, 
Maria Nordman and others, were originally 
associated with the movement. James 
Turrell was a pioneer among them and his 
Projection Pieces and Mendote Stoppages 
were among the earliest examples of works 
which invited the viewer to look at light in 
and of itself. As Turrell says: “Light is often 
seen as the bearer of revelation rather than 
the substance of the revelation. My art 
deals with light itself. It’s not the bearer of 
the revelation — it is the revelation.” 1 

There are no objects in Turrell’s 
installations. Using only the gallery walls 
and several additional dividing partitions, 
he builds simple room-size environments 
which he coats with titanium white paint. 

Into these silent and empty spaces he 
introduces a variety of light sources, 
ranging from argon, quartz, xenon, 
tungsten bulbs and fluorescent tubes to 

The project “Two Spaces” was conceived 
especially for the Billy Rose Pavilion; it did 
not exist previously and it is altogether likely 
that it will never exist in quite the same form 

For over a month, the artist worked in situ 
at the Israel Museum, converting the Billy 
Rose Pavilion into two adjoining 
interconnected, complementary 
installations. Neither installation admits 
outside light, and all disturbing elements 
such as permanent light fixtures, etc., were 
removed. The material needed was quite 
simple — gypsum boards, plywood, and 
wood beams. After the erection of the beam 
construction for partition walls, the gypsum 
boards were fixed and the floor was 
covered with plywood and the gypsum. All 
of the ceiling, the walls and the floor, in 
which every join was carefully smoothed, 
was subsequently painted white. A smooth 
white surface was important for the 
reflection of the light. 

In the first piece, “Nada”(nos. 1-3), the room 
is divided into two by a wall with a huge 
rectangular opening (440x187 cm). This 
horizontal construction, which is the last of 
Turrell’s Prado series, is perceived frontally. 
The viewer stands in the space having the 
direct light source (four fixtures with regular 
tungsten bulbs), looking into the other 
space filled with ambient light entirely 
reflected off the walls of the room outside. 
From a distance, the junction between the 
two spaces is seen as a flat surface 
resembling a rectangular painted on the 
wall. Approaching the wall, the opaque 
surface yields, becomes transparent, then 
suddenly and surprisingly opens out to 
reveal an inner space, an unexpected inner 
room, where the light is very homogeneous, 
grainy and almost tangible. 

Walking from the first gallery to the second, 
one must go through a passage, which 
strengthens one’s perspective (nos. 4-6). 
This room, “Mikvah”, contains a partition 
which partly sections off the total space 
(nos. 7-8). From the area behind that 
partition, which is hidden from view, 
streams a mixture of blue and red 
fluorescent light, producing a transparent 
screen, diagonally extended and continuing 
the partition wall (no. 9). This screen is 

perceived as a translucent filmy surface 
through which a changing view of a space 
“behind” the screen is viewed as one walks 
along. The viewer, now standing in the 
space with the ambient light, is looking into 
the direct light. The illusion of perspective is 
created with nothing but the careful 
treatment of fluorescent light. The 
realization of the idea of dematerialization 
of the art object is here developed to its 
utmost — a long way from the Renaissance 
artist who laboured over linear perspective 
in order to create an illusion of depth on the 
flat surface of a canvas. 

Turrell’s art challenges our visual 
perception of the world and of ourselves, 
which is unchanging because it is dictated 
by conditions of perception which prevail 
everywhere. He helps us discover and 
understand new aspects of visual 
perception, providing us with an unusual 
experience while examining the spiritual 
content of his work. “Our culture,” he says, 
“is going through a strange time — looking 
at Eastern thought — their work with 
meditation, their sense of the body and 
mind and soul. We’re approaching it 
through psychology. We’re very physical. 
When we want to go into the universe, we 
can’t look at a rock, like the Japanese. We 
have to actually go to the moon.” 2 


1 James Turrell, interview by Melinda Wortz, 
October 1979 and interview by Pamela 
Hammond, Summer 1982. 

2 A Report on the Art and Technology Program 
of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 
1967-71, p. 140. 

The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 1983 

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1 James Turrell, interview by Melinda Wortz, 
October 1979 and interview by Pamela 
Hammond, Summer 1982. 

2 A Report on the Art and Technology Program 
of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 
1967-71, p. 140. 

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Jim Turrell 

Pasadena Art Museum 



SEP 22 1967 

James Turrell was born in Los Angeles, Cali¬ 
fornia, in 1943; he currently lives in Santa 
Monica, California. Turrell’s images are pro¬ 
jected from a slightly modified, but standard, 
high intensity projector positioned on the gallery 
ceiling. No attempt is made to conceal the pro¬ 
jectors, and as a consequence of the intensity of 
the projected light image, it is not necessary for 
the gallery to be in absolute darkness. His mono¬ 
chromatic images consist of simple geometric 
configurations, for example, a square or a rec¬ 
tangle. In some instances, the overall geometric 
shape is modified by the removal of a smaller 
either similar or dissimilar geometric shape from 
one corner. In any event, each image is unique. 
The borders are crisply defined, and the internal 
field of the image is usually flat and without 
divisive incident. 1 The overall size varies from 
configuration to configuration, but the majority 
approximate eight feet at the largest dimension. 
The white images have a slightly discernible 
bluish cast and the colored images are tinged a 
definite blue or pink. The position on the gallery 
wall of the whitish images is indeterminate. The 
colored images, on the other hand, assume a 
more definite position; the projected color-plane 
is read as a tangible surface effect and thus ap¬ 
pears to be more objectified. 

Turrell’s images are not only static, non- 
repetitive and absolute, but they are also highly 
subjective. His art corresponds to the notion 
discussed by the sculptor Robert Morris: “ ... 
The better new work takes relationships out of 
the work and makes them a function of space, 
light and the viewer's field of vision." TurrelPs 
means, however, are purely pictorial. In other 
words, he uses luminosity not as a sculptor uses 
material to create three dimensional form, but 
illusionistically, that is, in a similar manner to 
a painter who uses paint on canvas. 

Each image is focused upon the wall surface* 
of the gallery by projection and variously posi¬ 
tioned. For example, some images are positioned 
equidistantly across one of the internal angles 
of the wall and others directly onto the plane of 
the wall. Those images focused upon one plane of 
the wall usually rest on, or slightly above, floor 

level, or crisply butt up to the angle of the adjoin¬ 
ing wall, or are placed in both positions. Each 
image is a self-contained entity and activates an 
arc of the gallery in its own particular manner. 
Thus it is possible to place several images in a 
gallery and have them apprehended as specific 
works with an individual character. 

The intensity of the projected light demate- 
rializes the wall surfaces enclosed within the 
boundaries of the image and the unlighted wall 
surface abutting the image. Walking close to 
the wall, however, dissolves the physical-object 
qualities of the image and the observer becomes 
aware of the actual disposition of the wall sur¬ 
face and that the image is merely reflected light. 
An awareness of the transient qualities of the 
images does not detract from the effectiveness 
of the work. In fact, it serves to intensify the 
idea that the image, although an illusion, can 
nevertheless be experienced as something tangi¬ 
ble. The manner in which light is made physical 
and objectified in these images demonstrates that 
volumes can be engendered without references 
to structure, and further, that transparency can 
be engendered without conventional employment 
of material. 

The tangibility of the image is increased by 
the manner in which it modifies the lighted wall 
as well as the surrounding space of the gallery,, 
and more than that, the ambient space, that is 
the space beyond or outside the gallery. In the 
first instance, the definition and the brilliance of 
the image makes it difficult to determine the 
position of the wall; the wall appears to lie 
somewhere behind the plane of the image. If the 
observer looks into the image it appears to pene¬ 
trate the wall. On the other hand, when the wall 
is focused upon, the position of the image then 
becomes less determinate. One is called upon to 
make simultaneous decisions as to where the 
image lies and where the walls lie. This is 
due to the fact that the viewer is involved in a 
space in which the “painting supports" have 
been enlarged to become congruent with the 
wall surfaces. 

In the second instance, it is first necessary to 

differentiate between the viewer’s awareness of 
space, or the space a viewer can perceive or 
imagine, and the actual space of the gallery. In 
other words, the viewer when looking at one 
of these images is not only forced to modify his 
awareness of the fixed position of the wall and 
image, but he also becomes aware that the image 
refers to an exploded space. This sensation is 
enhanced and increased by the very intangibil¬ 
ity of the light. When a light image is projected 
under the circumstances given, the constant 
modification and fluctuation of the observer’s 
spatial sense tends to expand the awareness of 
the physical limits of the gallery. 

It must be added that in addition to the power¬ 
ful modification of the observer’s space created 
by these images, they also have considerable 
iconic power. This may not be clearly demon¬ 
strable, but the compelling sensuousness of the 
light and its inexhaustible brilliance is almost 
hypnotic. Furthermore, an apprehension of the 
means used does not rationalize the total effect 
but adds to its vividness and mysteriousness. 

John Coplans 


i Except for Afrum , an image projected across the corner 
of the gallery. Although the projected field for this image 
is flat, the corner line of the gallery is highlighted as a 
consequence of reflected light. 

Exhibition date 9 Sept to 9 Oct, 1967 

AFRUM. 1967 


TOLLYN, 1967 

The Atlantic Month ly 

The artist James Turretl is 
shaping Arizona earth so that an observer 
can listen to the sounds of the stars, be enveloped 
by the image of the moon, and think he is watching 
a seventy-five-story volcanic crater 
flatten into the desert floor 



by Fred Hapgood 

M illions of years ago a vent tore open fifty 
miles beneath what is now central Arizona. 
Through this lesion the pressures of the deep in¬ 
terior took slow aim at the roof of that world, the floor of 
our own, and commenced a bombardment of molten rock 
that is continuing still. Over time this barrage, the remains 
of which are known as the San Francisco Volcanic Field, 
walked north and east, just nicking the edge of the Painted 
Desert, near what are now Colorado, Utah, and New 
Mexico. Right at the point where field and sands touch, a 
small, exceptionally well formed cinder cone can be seen, 
standing off from the other volcanoes, deeper into the de¬ 
sert. From a certain angle the cone has the shape of a bow 
wave, as though something alive were running under the 
sand, out toward the midst of the coral and orange land¬ 
scape. This is Roden Crater. 

In the past few years a swelling stream of curators, as¬ 
tronomers and other scientists, artists, journalists, and col¬ 
lectors have been flying into Flagstaff to visit a construc¬ 
tion project nearby. The exact nature of the project is not 
simple to pin down, though certainly most visitors would 
agree that what is proceeding is the construction of a piece 
of contemporary art—a combination of earthwork, sculp¬ 
ture, and architecture, perhaps, and almost certainly the 
largest piece of serious art under way in the world today. 
The Los Angeles Times called it “an astonishing project of 
staggering magnitude.” An article in The Wall Street Journal 
said that in Roden Crater “the sun and the moon and the 
stars will be given the stage upon which they [will] have 
the opportunity to present themselves as they will, like 
dancers in the sky.” John Russell, of The New York Times , 
predicted that the crater will “mediate on our behalf be¬ 
tween geological time and celestial time.” Count Giu¬ 
seppe Panza di Biumo, a widely respected collector of con¬ 
temporary art, has called Roden “the Sistine Chapel of 
America.” A journalist dropped by investigating rumors 
that the Defense Department had plans for the site. 

AUGUST 1987 


The Atlantic Monthly 

Part of this confusion stems from the reluctance of the 
man behind the project, the artist James Turrell, to pre¬ 
sent the enterprise in any definitive way. The prospectus 
for the project, for instance, is nothing more than a list of 
the chambers he plans to build along the walls or under the 
floor of the crater. One of these is a thousand-foot tunnel 
constructed such that once every 18.61 years, weather per¬ 
mitting, the image of the moon will fill its entire opening 
for a few moments and appear on the rear wall. There are 
chambers sited to “capture” certain rare kinds of light that 
appear in the skies over the desert. But the prospectus it¬ 
self is an endlessly mutable document, with statements of 
purpose and specific plans included according to which or¬ 
ganization is being asked to contribute a portion of the $5 
million that needs to be raised. 

Turrell has the bones of a bird, delicate features and 
hands, a light step, a red and gray beard, and eyes at once 
brown and green. When collared directly, he seems willing 
enough to explain his intentions, but somehow, mysteri¬ 
ously, his language seems always to fall just short of com¬ 
municating anything definite. At one point he said to me 
that he was building “pre-built primitive art” and “one of 
the major ruins of the future,” at another that he was 
searching for a way “to make manifest what the space in¬ 
side the crater is seeing.” (He also has been quoted as say¬ 
ing that the finished crater will be a musical instrument 
upon which celestial bodies will beat out, in light, the 
rhythms of the spheres.) Turrell’s body language was sub¬ 
tle: he kept his face straight and his speech dry and his 
hands by his sides. But the hint that he was prepared to 
keep this up for as long as I liked was unmistakable. 

As opaque as the Roden project may be, Turrell has al¬ 
ready raised nearly a million dollars and persuaded a foun¬ 
dation to buy him Roden, and he can call on the energies 
of dozens of volunteers, some of whom fly in from consid¬ 
erable distances just to help wrestle water pipe. Clearly, 
there is something here that touches the heart. When I vis¬ 
ited, Turrell was in the midst of reshaping the original sad¬ 
dle shape of the crater’s bowl into an elliptical concavity 
whose rim measures nearly a thousand feet by nine hun¬ 
dred feet across and that is a hundred and forty feet deep. 
Because tumbleweed roots in disturbed soil, the construc¬ 
tion had created an ideal seed bed for it, and hundreds of 
dry spiral twists had found in the big dish an end to their 
long voyaging. 

The view from the lip was remarkable. The summer 
rains had just fallen, brushing tints of green and flax over 
the rust and black and tan of the sands outside the cone. 
Off into the desert, which lay open to view for more than a 
hundred miles, the land shifted between pinks and or¬ 
anges as intense as those of cheap cosmetics. None of 
these hues was stable: as clouds passed and the sun 
wheeled overhead, the colors of the landscape transformed 
in measured and deliberate steps, as though a composition 
were being played. The horizon was punctuated by cinder 
cones and volcanic buttes, which looked like the cooling 
towers of thermal power plants. Some rose from the direc¬ 

tion of Colorado, some from Utah. Other than Turrell and 
two visitors from the staff of the Phoenix Art Museum, 
who sat, legs drawn up, on the opposite rim, there was 
hardly a sign of the human race. The volumes reaching be¬ 
hind them were so immense that they looked like giants, 
men carved out of mountains. 

Behind and all around the three, dozens of slanted, rib¬ 
bon-like shadows cast by clouds sailed at different speeds 
and in different directions. There was a sense of standing 
on the floor of an ocean saturated with light. In between 
the desert and the surface of this ocean, miles overhead, 
lived the gliding shafts of cloud shadow, the sheets of air, 
each marked with a distinct species of cloud, crossing each 
other at different altitudes, and the patterns of radiance 
shifting as the sun, curving west, picked out and illumi¬ 
nated the texture of the atmosphere, as if with pedagogical 
intent. A smooth, gustless cool dry wind, the motor of the 
tumbleweeds, streamed up the sides of the volcano and 
poured into the sky. 

After several minutes Roden, which is seventy-five sto¬ 
ries above the desert floor, seemed to flatten right out onto 
the desert floor. All that was left was an acre of tumble¬ 
weed, lying flat as a stain. The great weight of the space 
above appeared to press the crater down into the desert 
like a preserved leaf. Later I mentioned this illusion to 
Turrell. “Right,” he said, as though I had answered a 

T he reasons that visitors arrive, contribute, 
and go home lit with enthusiasm probably lie less 
in the view than in the reputation of the artist be¬ 
hind the project. Though only in his mid-forties, James 
Turrell is by any standard a major American artist. He has 
had retrospectives at the Whitney Museum of American 
Art, in New York, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, 
in Los Angeles, and he has shown at the Leo Castelli Gal¬ 
lery, in New York, one of the more prestigious private gal¬ 
leries in the world. He holds a MacArthur fellowship. 

These triumphs have rested on his mastery not of oil or 
watercolor but of a medium known as the “homogeneous 
field,” a visual experience that is to the eye what white 
noise is to the ear—a perfectly featureless sensorium. The 
reader might experience one of these fields by cutting a 
hole in a large piece of paper, taking it outside, and hold¬ 
ing it in front of a region of the sky that is cloudless, 
not uncomfortably bright, and above the building line. 
The area within the hole is a homogeneous field. (The 
sky is usually too bright to allow prolonged investigation 
of homogeneous fields by this means, however.) Perhaps 
the best known of these “undifferentiated surrounds” are 
whiteouts—the moments during snowstorms when every 
line, shade, shape, and form is swallowed by an encom¬ 
passing whiteness. 

Until Turrell grasped their expressive power, these 
fields had been curiosities of the psychology lab. They 
were studied first by gestalt psychologists in the thir- 


AUGUST 1987 

The Atlantic Mqnthly 

ic s, who surrounded sub¬ 
jects with meticulously 
whitewashed and neu¬ 
trally lit boards in the 
hope that “homogeneous 
stimulation” of the visual 
field, or the Ganzfeld, 
would reveal the nature 
of the primal visual expe¬ 
rience. The technique 
was reborn in the early 
fifties, when perceptual 
psychologists developed 
several new ways of gen¬ 
erating the fields. One 
was to split a Ping-Pong 
ball, tape the hemi¬ 
spheres over the eyes of 
the subject, and project 
lights, which might differ 
in color between the right and the left, onto the curves of 
the ball halves. 

Both generations of psychologists found the technique 
difficult to control: their subjects couldn’t agree on what it 
was they were seeing. Apparently, the human retina re¬ 
fuses to believe in homogeneous fields. When exposed to 
one, it tolerates the phenomenon for a few moments and 
then begins casting about for other possibilities. Different 
retinas produce different theories. The most common re¬ 
port was of “swimming in a mist of light which becomes 
more condensed at an indefinite distance.” Most subjects 
described “sensing something vaguely surface-like in front 
of the face*”; some described a “cone-shaped three-dimen¬ 
sional surface,” a “cracked-ice effect,” a “web-like struc¬ 
ture,” or rings of different sizes and shapes. There were re¬ 
ports of memory activation, time distortion, and other 
hallucinations. Sometimes observers felt that their eyes 
were in violent motion. 

When a homogeneous 
field was used as the 
ground against which an 
object was viewed, con¬ 
tours blurred and shapes 
transformed. Sometimes 
the objects seemed to van¬ 
ish, leaving subjects un¬ 
certain as to whether their 
eyes were even open. Af¬ 
tereffects included ex¬ 
treme fatigue, great light¬ 
ness of body, dizziness, 
and impaired motor co¬ 
ordination, sense of bal¬ 
ance, and time percep¬ 
tion. Sometimes subjects 
appeared intoxicated. 

Viewer reaction was 

zl hard to control and cate- 


| gorize, and perhaps for 
<3 this reason homogeneous 
I fields soon disappeared 
from serious scientific lit¬ 
erature. However, they 
had not quite done so by 
the early sixties, when 
Turrell, then a student at 
Pomona College, ran 
across references to them 
while pursuing an inter¬ 
est in the perception of 
light. During that decade 
the art culture of the na¬ 
tion was, naturally, radi¬ 
calized. One form this 
took was a systematic 
hostility to art as a com¬ 
modity—as something 
that could be marketed, bought, auctioned off, or collect¬ 
ed. Performance art and earthworks were part of this cri¬ 
tique. A third and less well known part was “perceptual 
environments,” which set out to suggest that the percep¬ 
tion of an object was less a function of the object itself than 
of the establishment-defined environment surrounding 
that object. This was the wing Turrell drifted into and the 
context in which he began to explore the special power of 
the homogeneous field. In particular, in 1968 Turrell, the 
Los Angeles artist Robert Irwin, and Ed Wortz, a physio¬ 
logical psychologist, entered into a celebrated collabora¬ 
tion to probe the possibilities of the fields. 

During the next ten years Turrell discovered how to cre¬ 
ate these “light mists,” as some call them, so that they 
could be experienced by wandering spectators—people 
who were not even seated, let alone wearing Ping-Pong 
balls. He would, for example, paint a chamber with titani¬ 
um white, manipulating 
g its dimensions and illu- 
h mination until someone 
I looking into the enclo¬ 
sure saw the desired ef¬ 
fect. He learned how to 
make his chambers re¬ 
sponsive to external 
events such as the pres¬ 
ence and the pace of 
spectators; how to work 
with different qualities 
and intensities of light 
(he continues to use ev¬ 
ery kind of source, from 
argon, quartz halogen, xe¬ 
non, and tungsten bulbs 
to fluorescent tubes and 
simple daylight, moon¬ 
light, and starlight); how 

Lunette (1976) by James Turrell: expressive mists of light 

Skyspace ( 1975): homage to the greatest homogeneous field 

AUGUST 1987 



to introduce structures, 
like screens of light, into 
the fields; how to tint the 
fields with different 
hues, and how to make 
them seem to shimmer, 
to fill up with smoke, to 
develop a grain, to pre¬ 
sent a skin or surface. 

During this time he ex¬ 
hibited only twice, once 
in Holland and once in 
Los Angeles. (Turrell 
also restores antique air¬ 
planes, a lucrative side¬ 
line that has made him fi¬ 
nancially independent of 
the exhibition, grant, and 
games.) When his show 
opened at the Whitney, in 1980, almost no one in the New 
York art world had any advance word on him. 

A visitor to the show saw chambers, most the size of 
small rooms, filled with light. There was nothing in these 
spaces but light, usually of a single shade. There was al¬ 
most no sense of the artist’s hand, of a deliberate manipu¬ 
lation. The light in the chambers appeared alternately 
transparent and opaque. Some viewers experienced an il¬ 
lusion of solidity so pronounced that they tried to lean 
against the large chamber openings and fell through; three 
of them suffered such injuries to their bodies and egos that 
they filed suits against Turrell for maintaining a deliberate 
and dangerous deception. The critics were ecstatic. They 
declared the medium sensationally novel and the pieces 
utter knockouts, combining sensuousness with minimalist 
elegance. Many found them numinous, mystical, an invi¬ 
tation to meditate on the nature of the void. In particu¬ 
lar, the critics embraced 
the very feature that had 
made the Ganzfeld seem 
so appropriate as a cri¬ 
tique of the art experi¬ 
ence— their power to 
destabilize perception, 
the delicious way in 
which they subverted 
the very idea of looking. 

Ross Wetzsteon, of the 
Village Voice , wrote, 

As you watch, your 
sense of substance con¬ 
stantly shifts—the panel 
solid, then dematerial- 
ized, then solid once 
more . . . the panel 
floats in space, toward 
you, away from you, 

The moon at sunset, from inside Roden Crater 

shimmering in place. 
You’re hypnotized, con¬ 
fused—what you experi¬ 
ence contradicts what 
you “know,” and you 
begin to realize that 
James Turrell’s work is 
asking you to question 
the very nature of mate¬ 

A “brilliant success,” 
said Robert Hughes, of 
Time . 

In contemplating these 
peaceful and august 
light chambers, one is 
confronted . . . with 
the reflection of one’s 
own mind creating its 
illusions and orienta¬ 
tions, and this becomes the ‘subject’ of the work. The art, 
it transpires, is not in front of your eyes. It is behind them. 



Beyond the rim: extending the artwork to the horizon 


would naturally find himself reflecting on the 
greatest of these: the sky. Turrell, an enthusiastic 
pilot who spends as much time in the air as he can, had 
abundant opportunity for this sort of reflection, and in 
the early seventies found himself focusing on the sky’s 
height. The illusion that the sky is a ceiling, which goes 
by the pretty name of celestial vaulting, is famously 
strong in children, and most of us, if asked to set aside 
what we know about the atmosphere, could come up 
with an altitude at which the ceiling appears to lie at any 
one moment. This figure is not stable. The apparent 
height of the sky is a function of the apparent distance of 

the horizon: specifically, 
the closer the horizon, 
the lower the ceiling. (It 
seems that our sense of 
the sky’s form stays the 
same regardless of the al¬ 
titudes we are at.) Tur- 
rell’s first thought was of a 
big bowl in which people 
could walk up and down 
the interior walls. As 
viewers moved down the 
sides of the bowl, the ho¬ 
rizon, defined by the lip, 
would narrow and the sky 
would descend. What he 
found most intriguing 
about the idea, he says, 
was its power to dem¬ 
onstrate that people 


AUGUST 1987 

The Atlantic Monthly 

control the shape of the space in which they move.” 

For anyone else with these interests, the next step would 
have been to apply for a grant to build a huge wok on some 
municipal plaza. Turrell instead made a remarkable deci¬ 
sion: only a volcano crater would do. And not just any 
crater. It should have a rim that was both circular and flat 
(qualities that would simplify the construction and intensi¬ 
fy the experience of celestial vaulting), be 400 or 500 feet 
above the plain and at least 5,000 feet above sea level (so 
that the sky’s color would have begun to deepen), be away 
from the light pollution and haze of a city, and be in a setting 
that would extend the artwork into the surrounding land¬ 
scapes and skies “so that the piece itself would have no 
end.” After working out the specs, Turrell got in his plane 
and flew off to inspect, individually, each of the thousands 
of volcanoes dotting the North American cordillera, the 
complex of ranges that twists up and down the West. The 
search took seven months and more than 500 hours of air 
time, and extended from 
the Canadian border to 
the Mexican border. 

Eventually he worked his 
way to the San Francisco 
Volcanic Field and found 

Roden fell short of per¬ 
fection in only one re¬ 
spect: its dish was not cir¬ 
cular but saddle-shaped. 

Otherwise, it had every¬ 
thing, including the ad¬ 
vantage of being private¬ 
ly owned and therefore 
free of the public-lands 
bureaucracy, which Tur¬ 
rell thought might prove 
slow to appreciate his in¬ 
tentions. As it turned 
out, he had the same problem with the actual owner, a cat¬ 
tle rancher, who could not be persuaded of the benefit of 
having an art museum, or something, right in the center of 
his range. Turrell put him on hold for a bit and approached 
the Dia Art Foundation, which specialized in supporting 
large environmental pieces. Dia agreed to buy the crater, 
pay for reshaping the bowl, and take over responsibility for 
maintenance and visitor control once the project was fin¬ 
ished. Turrell went back to the owner, who once again re¬ 
fused to sell. 

Turrell simply kept asking. During these discussions, 
which went on for three years, he visited the crater often. 
He slept in it, winter and summer, and noticed how the 
volcano aligned itself to the dawn and the sunset, to the 
ecliptic, and to the orbits of the planets, and how the col¬ 
ors of the site, of land and sky, changed with the seasons. 
One day, when he was wandering around outside the 
crater, Turrell looked up and noticed that a cap cloud had 
formed over the top of Roden. He scrambled up the side 

of the volcano as fast as he could and plunged into the 
cloud. It was different from thick seacoast fogs, in which 
the light level is quite low, he says. At this altitude, nearly 
6,000 feet above sea level, sunlight penetrated all through, 
evenly lighting the suspended droplets. The whole space 
glowed: a homogeneous field. 

In 1977 persistence triumphed, and Roden Crater was 
sold to the Dia Art Foundation, 1,100 acres for $64,000. By 
then Turrell’s interests had spread far beyond celestial 
vaulting, and when it came time to talk construction, he 
had a whole new set of plans to lay before the foundation. 
One was for a sort of radiotelescope: his idea was to carve a 
room within the crater and embed in its walls a wire cage 
that would shield it from radio waves. A circular depres¬ 
sion, eight feet across and four feet deep, would be cut in 
the floor and filled with water; just above the depression a 
circle of the same diameter would be cut through the roof 
and shielding. An arrangement of antennae and crystals, in 

effect a diode, would 
pick up the radio energies 
passing into the chamber 
through the hole in the 
shielding, convert them 
into acoustic vibrations, 
and release those vibra¬ 
tions into the water. 
Thus, on a clear night, 
someone lying in the 
bath and looking through 
the hole in the roof would 
be able to hear the 
sounds of the stars in the 
area he was observing. 

Most of the proposed 
rooms were designed to 
show colors and color 
changes associated with 
the movements of the 
sun and moon and with changes in the weather. For in¬ 
stance, at sunset a band of pink and blue, sometimes 
called the twilight arch, lifts up out of the eastern horizon 
and leads the night over the sky. In one of the chambers an 
aperture would be cut to capture the rays of the twilight 
arch for a minute or two during each sunset; during the 
capture, this light would be “fogged up” into one of Tur- 
rell’s trademark light mists. Some chambers would be en¬ 
tered from a ramp that would rise, curving around the 
cone, from the desert surface, others from a tunnel that 
would meet the main, moon-sighting tunnel. There would 
be perhaps half a dozen such chambers, conveying as a 
whole the effect of observatories or galleries of the light of 
the empyrean (present plans have increased the number to 
twelve). Most of these, thanks to the use of the Ganzfeld as 
the display technology, a visitor would be able not only to 
inspect but to enter and immerse himself in, as Turrell had 
immersed himself in the cloud. 

The Dia Art Foundation expressed interest but never 

Behind James Turrell , his major ruin of the future 

AUGUST 1987 


The Atlantic Month ly 

could quite decide to fund the project. In 1981 Turrell, 
who had been following with increasing alarm the stocks in 
which the foundation’s endowment was invested, offered 
to take over the entire project. Dia agreed and transferred 
ownership of Roden to a foundation set up for that pur¬ 
pose, called Skystone, which Turrell financed with grants, 
including the MacArthur, and private donations. Five 
years later he had fenced, mapped, and surveyed the land, 
made the necessary seismic soundings, finished planning 
most of the details, mastered the delicate art of supplying 
power to the construction equipment with wind (the 
winds at the top of Roden eat windmills), laid down the ac¬ 
cess road, established a base camp (courtesy of the Muse¬ 
um of Northern Arizona), drilled a well, installed the pipe¬ 
lines needed for construction and restoration of the site, 
and begun shaping the rim into a circle. 

T urrell asserts that no one flying overhead 
will have any sense that construction has taken 
place. He intends to replant the bowl with the 
original vegetation, which will come as a shock to the 
tumbleweeds. The finished project will have none of the 
clues that identify works of art or art institutions: there will 
be no labels on the walls, no information booth, no record¬ 
ed cassette lectures for rent. There will be no gift shop, 
restaurant, visitors’ register, or plastic box for contribu¬ 
tions. No postcards will be sold. There will be no security 
guards, parking lot, landing strip, or escalators. In fact, 
if Turrell’s dream is perfectly realized, there will be no 
spectators, or hardly any: he thinks the largest number 
of visitors the project can handle will be around three a 

Roden will be swept clean of references not only to the 
artist, art object, and art institution but also, aside from a 
few concessions to safety, to post-Renaissance Western 
civilization. There are no lenses at Roden, no track light¬ 
ing, no loudspeakers. (The “radio room” is one example of 
the ingenuity with which references to this civilization 
have been dodged.) Someone left to poke around the proj¬ 
ect on his own, knowing nothing of the actual history, 
might guess that it was a temple built thousands of years 
ago by a sect of Native American sky-worshipers and long 
since abandoned. As much as possible, only local minerals 
are being used: desert sand, volcanic obsidian for the reso¬ 
nating bathtub, and shale from the bottom of a nearby Ju¬ 
rassic lagoon for the outside walkways, which will give the 
construction the look of having been built by a people 
without trucks. (One chamber escapes from the present 
era in the other direction: a shaft pointed to the North Star 
is intended to monitor the precession of the earth’s pole 
from Polaris to Vega, which will become the new North 
Star in 12,000 years.) 

Yet the enterprise could not be more high-tech. For in¬ 
stance, the astronomer collaborating with Turrell on the 
moon-sighting tunnel, Dick Walker, of the naval observa¬ 
tory at Flagstaff, has been working on the math for three 

years. Drilling the tunnel will require a laser-guided “mole. 

If Turrell could remove all traces of human association, 
so that Roden looked as though the earth itself had carved 
it, I have no doubt he would do so. He plans to lay down 
his local materials oldest first, as if Roden had been built 
up by geological forces. Something like this must have 
been in his mind fifteen years ago, when he decided that 
his celestial-vaulting piece had to go into a crater or no¬ 
where, at a site where the piece would have no end. This 
instinct for distancing himself from what he does is con¬ 
stantly apparent. Once, Turrell took me flying over the 
desert. After we had woven this way and that, he nosed 
toward a notch in a range of nearby hills. “Hogan down 
there,” he said, pointing with the tip of his beard to a cir¬ 
cular Navajo dwelling. Obediently I looked down. Sure 
enough, a hogan. Not that rare a sight in Arizona, but still 
. . . I looked up just as he nudged the Heliocourier 
through the notch and the Grand Canyon exploded around 
me. I leapt up; the seat belt jerked me back. Turrell stared 
innocently ahead, as if to say, Who, me? Hey, I just fly this 


around for a few days I did begin to get a sense of a 
metaphysic. He seems to have a vision of a world 
whose active components are not physical entities, things 
with weight, but spaces. To most of us, a visual act or 
event is a two-party affair, linking the observer with the 
observed. Turrell seems to believe that all the action hap¬ 
pens in the space that separates the two. The space makes 
all the decisions; it controls what the observer gets to see 
and what the observed gets to show. Sometimes it seems 
that he sees spaces as conscious life forms; he talks of 
watching spaces watch themselves. “Roden Crater has 
knowledge in it, and it does something with that knowl¬ 
edge,” he says. “It is an eye, something that is itself per¬ 
ceiving. . . . When you’re there, it has visions.” But per¬ 
haps he was merely conducting certain Rauschenbergian 
experiments in dialogue; it is possible to catch him peep¬ 
ing slyly at his listeners when they think he is most in 

After the sky had rolled the crater out on that first day of 
my visit, I turned, half dizzy, away from the ocean floating 
overhead, walked to the bottom of the bowl, lay down, 
and looked back at the rim. The wind had vanished; the 
air grew softer and warmer. Flies whined among the 
tumbleweeds. The walls of the crater had drawn into the 
sky, and the sky had descended to lie across them. The il¬ 
lusion of being sealed inside was so strong that my brain 
felt compelled to manufacture the sound, faint but unmis¬ 
takable, of metal sliding over metal. Not fifteen feet over¬ 
head tiny clouds, like white flecks in fingernails, scrolled 
by. One would have thought that the volcano had just giv¬ 
en them birth, and there they were, streaming off toward 
all corners of the globe, ready to take up the great work 
that lay ahead. □ 




When finally you know 

you are not going to make it, 

the car’s heart failing 

on this dark country road, 

the night, which had so politely 

stepped aside, crowding in on you 

like a stranger in a bar 

who wants more than you’re 

prepared to give him, or 

the intruder you’re sure 

has entered your foyer at midnight 

with his crowbar for your spine, 

do you stop 

at the broken-down farmhouse 

looming like some monster of retribution, 

old eggs and sweat in its breath, 

swollen with children and hostility, 

the smell pressing its great thumb 

on your nostrils and eyelids, 

the old man in his bloated undershirt 

looking everywhere but at you, 

his thick fist wriggling 

in his greasy overalls, his wife 

clutching her disgust tight 

to her breast, the telephone hung 

on the exposed lath, dead? 

Or do you shake hands with that stranger, 

let him buy you a drink, show him 

your wallet and silver, 

inhale his pomaded hair, 

and cruise back to his place 

with its abandoned gas stations, 

its policemen winking under streetlamps, 

its pleasant houses where you know 

it’s too late to go? 

Or will it matter when tomorrow, 

that mechanic who’s always shown up 

so reliably before, comes back 

with his bright lamp, his tools 

and his expertise, and you drive home 

to your own country, nothing changed, 

except for this small uncertainty, 

this fist in your gut, this sneer 

twisting your lips, as if 

you knew something true and awful, 

something you could never, never confess? 

—Ronald Wallace 

AUGUST 1987 




AUGUST 1987 



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Zaal 11 zie omslag / Room 11 see cover 



Uitgevoerd in het Stedelijk Museum, 1976 
Een T.L. buis, 60 W, warm wit 
Aan het rechtereinde van de gang van ca. 
219 x 215 x 1250 cm is een T.L. buis met 
een 1ichtdoorlaat van 9 mm zodanig 
opgesteld, dat een aankomende bezoeker 
alleen de lichtvorm als een wig ziet en 
de lichtbron niet. 


Realized in the Stedelijk Museum, 1976 
One fluorescent tube, 60 W, warm white 
At the end of a corridor of c. 85.4 x 
83.8 x 487.5 in., on the rigFthand 
side, a fluorescent tube has been 
positioned in such a way that the 
viewer sees only the wedge-shaped form 
and not the source of the light. 

Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam 
9.4.1976 / 23.5.1976 

Organisatie tentoonstelling en catalogue 
/ Exhibition organized and catalogue 
compiled by: E. de Wilde, J. van Loenen 
Martinet, Rini Dippel, Dorine Mignot in 
nauwe samenwerking met / in close 
cooperation with Jim Turrell , Jack 

Vormgeving catalogue / Layout catalogue: 
Wim Crouwel, Daphne Duijvelshoff (Total 
Design, Amsterdam) 

Vertaling / Translation: Ina Rike , 

Foto's / Photographs: Jim Turrell, 
Stedelijk Museum , Amsterdam 
Typewerk / Typing: Maria Leenaars 
Druk / Printed by: Amaco, Amsterdam 
Oplage / Edition: 2000 
Publikjatiedatum / Publication date: 

14.5.1976 601 

De 1ichtruimten van Jim Turrell 

De Wilde 

Het Stedelijk Museum dankt in de eerste 
plaats Jim Turrell en diens naaste 
medewerker Jack Brogan uit Venice (Cal,) 
van harte voor hun aandeel aan de 
totstandkoming van deze tentoonstelling, 
Die dank gel'dt evenzeer de vele 
medewerkers in en buiten het museum, die 
hielpen big het realiseren van de 
tentoonstelling . Zeer erkentelijk zijn 
wig ook de bruikleengevers van de 
tekeningen t met name de heer Heiner 
Friedrich uit Keulen / Munchen, 

In 1967 bezocht ik in Los Angeles 
Ed Kienholz in verband met zijn komende 
tentoonstel1ing in het Stedelijk Museum 
(1969). Het was mijn eerste verblijf in 

Bij mijn atelierbezoeken in Venice, waar 
vele kunstenaars uit Los Angeles zijn 
neergestreken, viel het mij op dat licht 
een belangrijk element is in de kunst 
van Californie. Sommigen maakten er een 
direct gebruik van, zoals Irwin en 
Wheeler, anderen waren er op een 
indirecte manier mee bezig, zoals Bell, 
Valentine en Cooper. De gedachte kwam op 
een tentoonstel1ing te organiseren van 
de meest uitgesproken 1icht-kunstenaars. 
Mijn atelierbezoeken waren nu meer 
gericht en zo kwam ik bij Jim Turrell 

Aan mijn eerste bezoek bewaar ik een 
levendige herinnering. Zijn atelier was 
smetteloos wit: de wanden, het plafond 
en ook de vloer. De gesloten ruimte werd 
verlicht door een stralende mat-glazen 
kubus in een der hoeken. De kubus bleek 
bij nader beschouwen een projectie van 
intens wit licht. Het was een soort van 
minimal sculpture inzoverre de 
eenvoudige drie-dimensionale kubus de 
ruimte bepaalde, maar het was daarmee in 
tegenspraak inzoverre de kubus een 
illusie was, een twee-dimensionale 
projectie. Het schiep een ambigue 

Tegen het einde van mijn verblijf had ik 
drie kunstenaars voor een expositie in 
het Stedelijk Museum uitgenodigd: Irwin, 
Wheeler en Turrell. Turrell trok zich 
terug. De tentoonstel1ing Irwin en 
Wheeler vond in 1969 plaats. 

Een jaar later bezocht ik Turrell 
opnieuw. Het was avond. Langs de wanden 
van zijn atelier bewogen achter elkaar 
kleurige abstracte vormen, tel kens 
onderbroken door een verrassend beeld 
uit de realiteit: een voorbijganger, een 
palmboom, een stoplicht dat van rood op 
oranje en groen sprong. De bewegende 
vormen en beelden waren een directe 
projectie van wat zich op straat 
afspeelde. De beweging ontstond door de 
koplampen van de voorbijrijdende auto's. 
We hebben wel een uur op de vloer 
gezeten zonder een woord te wisselen. 
Sindsdien heb ik Turrell nog meerdere 
malen bezocht, maar nieuw werk kreeg ik 

niet te zien. Later begreep ik dat 
andere observaties hem bezig hielden, 
waarvoor de gecontroleerde weergave nog 
niet gerealiseerd was. 

In 1974 bezocht hij mij in Amsterdam. 

Het was zijn eerste verblijf in Europa. 
Hij was nu klaar voor een expositie en 
hij zou die graag in het Stedelijk 
Museum willen zien. (Tot dan toe had hij 
slechts 3 werken, projecties, getoond in 
het Pasadena Art Museum. Dat was in 
1967.) We spraken af, dat hij in het 
voorjaar van 1975 naar Amsterdam zou 
komen om er het Hollandse licht te leren 
kennen. Dat was nodig, want nu werkte 
hij met daglicht. De tentoonstel1ing zou 
in dezelfde periode van 1976 worden 

Californie is een jong land, vitaal en 
energiek. Techniek is er een belangrijk 
element van het dagelijks leven. Kunst 
is er nog minder in het cultuurpatroon 
opgenomen dan bij ons in Europa. Zij 
behoudt daardoor de kracht van wat nog 
onaangetast is. Californische 
kunstenaars zijn niet met een artistieke 
traditie belast. Hun elan wordt niet 
geremd door de relativerende 
vergelijking met kunst van vroeger 
eeuwen. Dat verklaart wellicht het 
geloof in eigen ontdekkingen en de 
vergaande consequenties die zij bereid 
zijn eruit te trekken. Turrell zag als 
student nauwelijks kunstwerken maar wel 
dia-projecties op een groot scherm. Wie 
de kantkloster van Vermeer geprojecteerd 
ziet op een formaat van 200 x 200 cm 
blijft vervreemd van de ervaring die het 
schilderijtje zelf teweeg kan brengen. 
Turrell bleef dus platonisch ten 
opzichte van de schilderkunst. Totdat 
hij een schilderij van Rothko zag. Het 
licht scheen uit het schilderij op te 
komen. Het schilderij zelf was een 
lichtbron. Het licht was physiek 
voelbaar zoals een zonnestraal tussen de 
bomen. Het werd hem duidelijk dat licht 
en kleur een twee-eenheid is. 

Turrell ging op zijn eigen manier met 
licht werken, niet in de picturale 
traditie van Rothko maar in de 
technische traditie van Californie. De 
1icht-illusie van Rothko's schilderij 
concretiseerde hij door met kunstlicht 
te werken. 

In de tentoonstelling zijn 7 kunst- 
licht-werken uitgevoerd. Vier ervan zijn 
door hun geometrisch karakter sculptures 
te noemen. In de eerste plaats de 
1icht-projecties waarvan ik er een reeds 
beschreef. In de tweede plaats de 
ruimten die door geometrische licht- en 
schaduw-vlakken elkaar doordringen. In 
een van deze zalen staat het licht als 
een wit glanzende wand diagonaal in de 
ruimte. Hier is de gehele ruimte licht- 
sculptuur geworden. In twee andere 
werken heeft Turrell een ruimte-illusie 
geschapen niet door lichtvormen maar 
uitsluitend door licht en kleur. Voor 
een der zaalwanden is een kleinere wand 
gebouwd die geheel omlijnd wordt door 
blauw licht dat erachter is aangebracht. 
De kleinere wand maakt onder invloed van 
de stralende koele kleurlijn plaats voor 
een onpeilbaar diepe ruimte. Een 
soortgelijk project met warm gekleurd 
licht levert een totaal verschillende 
ruimte-illusie op. 

Turrell voorziet zich o.a. in zijn 
levensonderhoud als 1ucht-cartograaf. 

Het vliegen heeft hem de relativiteit 
van de visuele observatie bewust gemaakt. 
Het heeft hem geleerd dat de feiten 
slechts door de boord-instrumenten 
kunnen worden geregistreerd. Hij zegt: 

"de Cartesiaanse ruimte van de 3 
afmetingen is, zoals alle mathematische 
ruimte-concepties, een model dat 
ontstaan is uit de 

ervaringsmogelijkheden van de realiteit, 
zoals Descartes die kende. Maar voor een 
vlieger houdt zijn conceptie slechts 
stand op zeer korte afstanden. Wie van 
Los Angeles naar Amsterdam vliegt, 
beseft dat de gebogen ruimte van Riemann 
waarin de driehoek meer dan 180° kan 
meten, dichter bij de werkelijkheid ligt 
Maar ook hier denken wij ten onrechte, 
dat het mathematische model de 
werkelijkheid dekt. Wij leggen het model 
over de werkelijkheid heen en menen dat 
het model de werkelijkheid is. De ruimte 
die we door onze observatie subjectief 
ervaren is meer bizar. Het is de ruimte 
die de droom benadert". 

Turrell vliegt niet in de beslotenheid 
van een 1ijnvliegtuig. Hij zweeft, hij 
observeert en hij ervaart de ruimte. In 
1975 keerde ik met hem terug, in zijn 
kleine toestel, van Arizona naar 

De lichtruimten van Jim Turrell 

De Wilde 

Het Stedelijk Museum dankt in de eerste 
plaats Jim Turrell en diens naaste 
medewerker Jack Brogan uit Venice (Cal.) 
van harte voor hun aandeel aan de 
totstandkoming van deze ten toons telling . 
Die dank geidt evenzeer de vele 
medewerkers in en buiten het museum> die 
hielpen big het realiseren van de 
tentoonstelling. Zeer erkentelijk zijn 
wig ook de bruikleengevers van de 
tekeningen, met name de heer Heiner 
Friedrich uit Keulen / Munchen. 

In 1967 bezocht ik in Los Angeles 
Ed Kienholz in verband met zijn komende 
tentoonstel1ing in het Stedelijk Museum 
(1969). Het was mijn eerste verblijf in 

Bij mijn atelierbezoeken in Venice, waar 
vele kunstenaars uit Los Angeles zijn 
neergestreken, viel het mij op dat licht 
een belangrijk element is in de kunst 
van Californie. Sommigen maakten er een 
direct gebruik van, zoals Irwin en 
Wheeler, anderen waren er op een 
indirecte manier mee bezig, zoals Bell, 
Valentine en Cooper. De gedachte kwam op 
een tentoonstel1ing te organiseren van 
de meest uitgesproken 1icht-kunstenaars. 
Mijn atelierbezoeken waren nu meer 
gericht en zo kwam ik bij Jim Turrell 

Aan mijn eerste bezoek bewaar ik een 
levendige herinnering. Zijn atelier was 
smetteloos wit: de wanden, het plafond 
en ook de vloer. De gesloten ruimte werd 
verlicht door een stralende mat-glazen 
kubus in een der hoeken. De kubus bleek 
bij nader beschouwen een projectie van 
intens wit licht. Het was een soort van 
minimal sculpture inzoverre de 
eenvoudige drie-dimensionale kubus de 
ruimte bepaalde, maar het was daarmee in 
tegenspraak inzoverre de kubus een 
illusie was, een twee-dimensionale 
projectie. Het schiep een ambigue 

Tegen het einde van mijn verblijf had ik 
drie kunstenaars voor een expositie in 
het Stedelijk Museum uitgenodigd: Irwin, 
Wheeler en Turrell. Turrell trok zich 
terug. De tentoonstel1ing Irwin en 
Wheeler vond in 1969 plaats. 

Een jaar later bezocht ik Turrell 
opnieuw. Het was avond. Langs de wanden 
van zijn atelier bewogen achter elkaar 
kleurige abstracte vormen, tel kens 
onderbroken door een verrassend beeld 
uit de realiteit: een voorbijganger, een 
palmboom, een stoplicht dat van rood op 
oranje en groen sprong. De bewegende 
vormen en beelden waren een directe 
projectie van wat zich op straat 
afspeelde. De beweging ontstond door de 
koplampen van de voorbijrijdende auto's. 
We hebben wel een uur op de vloer 
gezeten zonder een woord te wisselen. 
Sindsdien heb ik Turrell nog meerdere 
malen bezocht, maar nieuw werk kreeg ik 

niet te zien. Later begreep ik dat 
andere observaties hem bezig hielden, 
waarvoor de gecontroleerde weergave nog 
niet gerealiseerd was. 

In 1974 bezocht hij mij in Amsterdam. 

Het was zijn eerste verblijf in Europa. 
Hij was nu klaar voor een expositie en 
hij zou die graag in het Stedelijk 
Museum willen zien. (Tot dan toe had hij 
slechts 3 werken, projecties, getoond in 
het Pasadena Art Museum. Dat was in 
1967.) We spraken af, dat hij in het 
voorjaar van 1975 naar Amsterdam zou 
komen om er het Hollandse licht te leren 
kennen. Dat was nodig, want nu werkte 
hij met daglicht. De tentoonstel1ing zou 
in dezelfde periode van 1976 worden 

California is een jong land, vitaal en 
energiek. Techniek is er een belangrijk 
element van het dagelijks leven. Kunst 
is er nog minder in het cultuurpatroon 
opgenomen dan bij ons in Europa. Zij 
behoudt daardoor de kracht van wat nog 
onaangetast is. Californische 
kunstenaars zijn niet met een artistieke 
traditie belast. Hun elan wordt niet 
geremd door de relativerende 
vergelijking met kunst van vroeger 
eeuwen. Dat verklaart wellicht het 
geloof in eigen ontdekkingen en de 
vergaande consequenties die zij bereid 
zijn eruit te trekken. Turrell zag als 
student nauwelijks kunstwerken maar wel 
dia-projecties op een groot scherm. Wie 
de kantkloster van Vermeer geprojecteerd 
ziet op een formaat van 200 x 200 cm 
blijft vervreemd van de ervaring die het 
schilderijtje zelf teweeg kan brengen. 
Turrell bleef dus platonisch ten 
opzichte van de schilderkunst. Totdat 
hij een schilderij van Rothko zag. Het 
licht scheen uit het schilderij op te 
komen. Het schilderij zelf was een 
lichtbron. Het licht was physiek 
voelbaar zoals een zonnestraal tussen de 
bomen. Het werd hem duidelijk dat licht 
en kleur een twee-eenheid is. 

Turrell ging op zijn eigen manier met 
licht werken, niet in de picturale 
traditie van Rothko maar in de 
technische traditie van California. De 
1icht-illusie van Rothko's schilderij 
concretiseerde hij door met kunstlicht 
te werken. 

In de tentoonstel1ing zijn 7 kunst- 
licht-werken uitgevoerd. Vier ervan zijn 
door hun geometrisch karakter sculptures 
te noemen. In de eerste plaats de 
1icht-projecties waarvan ik er een reeds 
beschreef. In de tweede plaats de 
ruimten die door geometrische licht- en 
schaduw-vlakken elkaar doordringen. In 
een van deze zalen staat het licht als 
een wit glanzende wand diagonaal in de 
ruimte. Hier is de gehele ruimte licht- 
sculptuur geworden. In twee andere 
werken heeft Turrell een ruimte-illusie 
geschapen niet door lichtvormen maar 
uitsluitend door licht en kleur. Voor 
een der zaalwanden is een kleinere wand 
gebouwd die geheel omlijnd wordt door 
blauw licht dat erachter is aangebracht. 
De kleinere wand maakt onder invloed van 
de stralende koele kleurlijn plaats voor 
een onpeilbaar diepe ruimte. Een 
soortgelijk project met warm gekleurd 
licht 1 evert een totaal verschillende 
ruimte-illusie op. 

Turrell voorziet zich o.a. in zijn 
levensonderhoud als 1ucht-cartograaf. 

Het vliegen heeft hem de relativiteit 
van de visuele observatie bewust gemaakt. 
Het heeft hem geleerd dat de feiten 
slechts door de boord-instrumenten 
kunnen worden geregistreerd. Hij zegt: 

"de Cartesiaanse ruimte van de 3 
afmetingen is, zoals alle mathematische 
ruimte-concepties, een model dat 
ontstaan is uit de 

ervaringsmogelijkheden van de realiteit, 
zoals Descartes die kende. Maar voor een 
vlieger houdt zijn conceptie slechts 
stand op zeer korte afstanden. Wie van 
Los Angeles naar Amsterdam vliegt, 
beseft dat de gebogen ruimte van Riemann 
waarin de driehoek meer dan 180° kan 
meten, dichter bij de werkelijkheid ligt 
Maar ook hier denken wij ten onrechte, 
dat het mathematische model de 
werkelijkheid dekt. Wij leggen het model 
over de werkelijkheid heen en menen dat 
het model de werkelijkheid is. De ruimte 
die we door onze observatie subjectief 
ervaren is meer bizar. Het is de ruimte 
die de droom benadert". 

Turrell vliegt niet in de beslotenheid 
van een 1ijnvliegtuig. Hij zweeft, hij 
observeert en hij ervaart de ruimte. In 
1975 keerde ik met hem terug, in zijn 
kleine toestel, van Arizona naar 

Jim Turrell's Light Spaces 

De Wilde 

The Stedelijk Museum is deeply grateful 
to Jim Turrell and his close associate 
Jack Brogan from Venice (Calif.) for 
their contribution to the realization of 
this exhibition. Thanks are also due to 
the numerous people 3 inside the museum 
and out , who assisted in mounting the 
exhibition. We are very grateful, too, 
for the loan of the drawings 3 notably to 
Mr. Heiner Friedrich of Cologne / Munich 

In 1967 I visited Ed Kienholz in Los 
Angeles to discuss plans for his 
exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum 
(1969). It was my first time in 

During my visits to artists' studios in 
Venice, where many artists from Los 
Angeles have settled, I was struck by 
the fact that light plays such an 
important part in the art of California. 
Some artists, like Irwin and Wheeler, 
made direct use of it, others were 
indirectly involved with light, such as 
Bell, Valentine and Cooper. The idea 
arose to mount an exhibition of the 
artists most explicitly concerned with 
light. My studio visits became more 
selective, and so I ended up meeting 
Jim Turrell. 

I can remember my first meeting with him 
very clearly. His studio was impeccably 
white: walls, ceiling, even the floor. 
The closed space was lit by a radiant 
matt glass cube in one of the corners. 
Closer inspection revealed that the cube 
was in fact a projection of intense 
white light. It was a sort of minimal 
sculpture to the extent that the simple 
three-dimensional cube defined the space 
but this was contradicted by the fact 
that the cube was an illusion, a 
two-dimensional projection. It created 
an equivocal situation. 

Towards the end of my stay I had invited 
three artists for an exhibition in the 
Stedelijk Museum: Irwin, Wheeler, and 
Turrell. Turrell withdrew. The Irwin and 
Wheeler exhibition took place in 1969. 

A year later I went to see Turrell again 
It was evening. Across the walls of his 
studio passed a progression of colourful 
abstract forms, frequently interrupted 
by startling images from reality: a 
passer-by, a palm tree, a traffic light 
switching from red to orange and green. 
The moving forms and images were a 
direct projection of what was happening 
in the street. The movement was due to 
the headlights of passing cars. We sat 
on the floor at least an hour, without 

Since then I visited Turrell several 
times, but he did not show me new work. 
Later I understood that his thoughts 
were occupied by observations of a 
different kind, for which he controlled 

representation had not yet materialized. 
In 1974 he visited me in Amsterdam. It 
was his first trip to Europe. He was 
ready for an exhibition, he said, and 
would like to have it in the Stedelijk 
Museum. (Until then he had shown only 
three works, projections in the Pasadena 
Art Museum. That was in 1967.) We agreed 
that he should come to Amsterdam in the 
spring of 1975, to study the light in 
Holland. This was necessary because he 
was by then working with daylight. The 
exhibition was to be held in the spring 
of 1976. 

California is a young country, full of 
life and vigour. Technology is a 
dominant feature of everyday life there. 
Art has been absorbed into the culture 
patterns even less than in Europe, and 
so it still has a pristine forcefulness. 
Californian artists are not burdened by 
an artistic tradition. Their elan is not 
dampened by relativizing comparisons 
with the art of previous centuries. 
Perhaps that explains their faith in 
their own discoveries, and their 
preparedness to take the ultimate 
consequences. As a student Turrell saw 
very few real art works, but plenty of 
slide projections on a big screen. 
Viewing Vermeer's lacemaker projected on 
a scale of 6 by 6 feet has nothing to do 
with the experience of seeing the 
original painting. So Turrell's 
relationship with painting was largely 
Platonic. That is, until he saw a 
painting by Rothko. The light seemed to 
rise out of the painting. The painting 
itself was a source of light. The light 
affects physically like a ray of 
sunlight streaming between the trees. It 
became clear to him that light and 
colour are one. 

Turrell started working with light in 
his own personal way, not in the 
pictorial tradition of Rothko, but in 
the technological tradition of 
California. He concretized the illusion 
of light in Rothko's painting by working 
with artificial light. 

Seven art-light-works have been realized 
in the exhibition. Four of them could be 
called sculptures, because of their 
geometric quality. Firstly the light 
projections, one of which is described 

above. Secondly the spaces which 
permeate each other by means of 
geometric planes of light and shade. In 
one of these rooms the light stands like 
a gleaming diagonal wall of white in 
space. In this case the entire space has 
become a light sculpture. In two other 
works Turrell created a space-illusion 
not by means of light forms this time, 
but by means of light and colour 
exclusively. In front of one of the 
walls in another room he built a smaller 
wall, framed on all sides by blue light 
shining from behind it. The radiant blue 
line of colour makes the smaller wall 
fade into an immessurably deep space. A 
similar project using warm-coloured 
light yields a totally different spatial 

One of the things Turrell does to earn a 
living is air cartography. Flying has 
made him aware of the relativity of 
visual observations. It has taught him 
that the facts can only be registered by 
the aircraft instrument panel. He says: 
'The Cartesian space of three dimensions 

is, as all mathematical spatial concepts, 
a model which has evolved from the range 
of experiental reality as Descartes knew 

it. But if you are flying a plane his 
concept holds true for very short 
distances only. If you fly from 

Los Angeles to Amsterdam, you will 
realize that the curved spape of Riemann, 
in which the triangle can have more than 
180 degrees, comes closer to reality. 

But even in this case you tend to think, 
wrongly, that the mathematical model 
covers reality. We superimpose the model 
on reality, and believe that the model 
actually is reality. The space we 
experience subjectively through our 
observation is more bizarre. It is a 
space that comes close to dreams.' 

Turrell doesn't fly in the confined 
space of a passenger aircraft. He glides, 
observes, and he relates to space. In 
1975 I flew with him in his small plane 
from Arizona to Los Angeles. When we 
left the sun was already sinking low on 
the horizon. Within the short time 
between sundown and darkness the changes 
in light, i.e. in colour, i.e. in space, 
all take place, because light-colour- 
space is a triad. Dusk is the most 
ambiguous time of day. We flew into a 

sky of red-orange-yellow-rose-violet. In 
the undefined space beneath us we saw 
mountains, forests, rivers, in every 
variegation of warm hues. Then Turrell 
swung round 180 degrees. Suddenly we 
were heading towards a white gleaming 
full moon fixed in a deep blue sky. We 
were confronted with a totally different 
reality of the same mountains, forests 
and rivers, covering the full range of 
cool shades this time. I was reminded of 
Cezanne: 'the colours of things rise up 
from the roots of the earth'. 

'If you go high enough', says Turrell, 
'you can see the light reflected in the 
moon change. The colour changes as the 
light glides by. You can know things 
without touching them, without handling 
them, without even being there. You can 
feel things with your eyes. Observation 
is much closer to thoughts than words.' 
The memory of Cezanne persists. He too 
wanted to know and comprehend things 
through observation alone. 

The limits of Turrell's observation are 
closer to those of astronauts than to 
those of his pictorial predecessors. The 
object of his observations is the space 
of the sky. That implies a scale- 
expansion of the same order as that 
which took place in painting when the 
plein-air painters took their easels out 
of the confines of the studio and 
planted them in the landscape. 

For the Amsterdam exhibition Turrell 
realized his space-observations in four 
rooms, which together make a single 
piece. There is no form to be seen in 
any of the four rooms. The light, 
daylight, is distributed in equal 
intensity over the three walls, the 
ceiling and the floor. The spatial 
effect is created by light and colour 
alone. There is no question of height, 
width or length anymore. We find 
ourselves in a succession of blue-green, 
deep red, purple and violet spaces. 

Every possibility of defining our 
position has been eliminated. We find 
ourselves in immeasurable space. 

Whenever a cloud passes before the sun, 
the space appears to shrink, and as soon 
as the sun is shining again the space 

In this four-part piece Turrell has 
analysed his observations in space 


during the time between sundown and 

Turrell's observations have led steadily 
and quite logically to his sun and moon 
project. He wanted the shifting scale of 
light and colour to build its own, 
constantly changing, space, throughout 
the day and night. So he started looking 
for a site to which the sun and moon 
would have direct access. Eventually he 
found a vulcanic mountain in the Painted 
Desert, Arizona. He plans to build the 
space - in which he will determine the 
penetration of sun and moon - inside the 
crater. He has meanwhile left Los 



Omdat de in het Stedelijk Museum 
uitgevoerde projekten na afloop van de 
tentoonstel1ing als zodanig niet meer 
zullen bestaan, volgen hieronder de 
gegevens per zaal , die samen met de 
plattegrond en de foto's een globaal 
overzicht van de tentoonstelling geven. 
Tekeningen en ontwerpen zijn te zien in 
zaal 12 en 1. Projekten zijn uitgevoerd 
in de zalen 11 t/m 2, waarin gewerkt 
wordt met T.L. buizen, daglicht en 
projecties. Hiervoor zijn deze laatste 
zalen omgebouwd tot lege ruimtes met 
gladde witte vloeren, wanden en plafonds. 
Storende elementen als stopcontacten, 
plinten, branddetektors etc. ... zijn 

De vloeren, behalve een smalle loopgang, 
zijn bedekt met spaanplaat en de muren 
met gipsplaten. In de zalen 10a, 10b, 9 
en 6 t/m 2 zijn alle hoeken, die voor de 
1ichtreflecties belangrijk zijn, 
afgerond met een kromtestraal van 6,5 cm. 
Vervolgens zijn alle plafonds, hoeken en 
platen wit gespoten met het zgn. 

'airless spraysystem', waarbij de verf 
d.m.v. een speciale compressor op de 
vlakken 'geslingerd' wordt. Hiervoor is 
Wallhide Latex volgens het 
'Microflo-Process', kleur 80-6, gebruikt. 

Op de bijgaande plattegrond, waarop 
Turrell alle aantekeningen maakte, staan 
de maten van de zalen. Deze maten zijn 
belangrijk, omdat zij steeds als 
uitgangspunt dienden voor de uit te 
voeren projekten. 

De maten op de werktekeningen 
daarentegen, corresponderen niet 
helemaal met de gerealiseerde projekten, 
omdat tot op het laatste moment het 
werken met en het aanpassen aan de 
gegeven ruimte een kwestie van 
proefondervindelijk precisiewerk was. 

Tenzij anders vermeld, zijn de werken 
eigendom van de kunstenaar. 

Catalogue list 

Since the projects carried out in the 
Stedelijk Museum will cease to exist as 
such when the exhibition closes, a brief 
outline of the rooms is given below 
which, together with the ground plan and 
photographs, present an overall picture 
of the exhibition. 

Drawings and sketches are exhibited in 
rooms 12 and 1. The projects are to be 
seen in rooms 11 to 2, in which 
fluorescent tubes, daylight and 
projections, are used. These rooms have 
been converted into empty spaces with 
smooth white floors, walls and ceilings. 
All disturbing details such as wall 
sockets, baseboards, fire alarm devices 
etc.... have been hidden from view. 

The floors, except for a narrow strip 
for walking, are covered with 
composition board, the walls with 
plaster board. In rooms 10a, 10b, 9 and 
6 - 2, all corners which are important 
for the reflection of light have been 
rounded off to a diameter of 2$ inches. 
All ceilings, walls and corners, in 
which every seam has been carefully 
smoothed out of sight, were subsequently 
painted white by means of the 'airless 
spray system', whereby the paint is 
dispersed over the surface with a 
special compressor. The paint used is 
Wallhide Latex, according to the 
'Microflo Process', colour 80-6. 

The sizes of the rooms are indicated on 
the ground plan, on which Turrell made 
all the notes. These sizes are important 
because they served as the point of 
departure for every realized project. 

The measurements indicated on the 
working drawings, however, do not 
correspond exactly with the finished 
pieces because the construction of the 
required space was, up to the last 
minute, a matter of trial and error 
until the exact desired effect was 

Unless otherwise stated all works are in 
the possession of the artist 


Zaal 12 / Room 12 


AFRUM, 1967 

CATSO, 1967 


SHANTA, 1967 


MUNSON, 1967 


JUKE, 1967 


ENDU, 1967 


TOLLYN, 1967 


RONIN, 1969 


ONDOE, 1967 


ASHBY, 1967 

PRADO, 1967 

PHANTOM, 1967 






DECKER, 1967 


FARGO, 1967 


ROYCE, 1967 


WEDGEWORK 2, 1969 


VANUIT DE HOEKEN, 1969 (twee tekeningen) 
Werk uit 1967-69. Main & Hill Studio 
Potlood op papier, 60 x 80 cm (inclusief 

Coll. Thordis & Friedrich Moller, Keulen 

OUT OF CORNERS, 1969 (two drawings) 

Work from 1967-69. Main & Hill Studio 
Pencil on paper, 23.4 x 31.2 in. 
(including frame) 

Coll. Thordis & Friedrich Moller, 


Tekeningen van 1ichtprojecties en 

Potlood op papier, 43 x 50 cm (inclusief 

Nrs. 6, 7, 8, 13, eigendom van de 

Andere nrs. coll. Heiner Friedrich, 
Keulen / Miinchen 

Drawings of light projections and light 

Pencil on paper, 16.8 x 19.5 in. 
(including frame) 

Nos. 6, 7, 8, 13, in the possession of 
the artist 

Other nos. coll. Heiner Friedrich, 
Cologne / Munich 

Zaal 11 zie omslag / Room 11 see cover 


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Zaal 10a / Room 10a 

RONIN, 1968 

Uitgevoerd in het Stedelijk Museum, 1976 
(Zie tekening RONIN, 1969) 

Vier T.L. buizen, 40 W, kleur nr. 84 
Een tweede wand is ca. 36 cm vddr de 
bestaande wand opgetrokken, die alleen 
aan de rechterzijde niet tot de wand 
doorloopt. Vanuit deze opening, die ca. 
47 cm breed is, reflecteert het licht 
van de achter de wand opgestelde buizen 
via de witte wanden. 

RONIN, 1968 

Realized in the Stedelijk Museum, 1976 
(See drawing RONIN, 1969) 

Four fluorescent tubes, 40 W, colour 
no. 84 

A screen-wall has been erected c. 14 in. 
in front of the bearing wall, wTiich 
stops short of the side wall on the 
right. Through this £. 18 in. vertical 
aperture the fluorescent lighting from 
tubes installed behind the screen-wall 
is reflected on the white sides of the 




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Zaal 10b / Room 10b 

SHANTA, 1967 

Uitgevoerd voor David Whitney, New York 
Uitgevoerd in het Stedelijk Museum, 1976 
(Zie tekening SHANTA, 1967) 
Xenonprojector en een uitgezaagde vorm 
in een messingplaat, die zo groot is als 
een dia. 

De vorm wordt door een ellipsvormig gat 
in het plafond geprojecteerd in de hoek. 
Afhankelijk van de plaats en de manier 
van kijken kan men een naar voren 
komende, terugwijkende of platgeslagen 
kubus, of een meer onbestemde lichtvorm 
met een zekere 'massa' waarnemen. 

Coll. David Whitney, New York 

SHANTA, 1967 

Realized for David Whitney, New York 
Realized in the Stedelijk Museum, 1976 
(See drawing SHANTA, 1967) 

Xenon projector and a form cut out of a 
brass plate, the size of a slide. 

The form is projected onto one corner of 
the room through an elliptical hole in 
the ceiling. Depending on the viewing 
position and angle, the visitor can 
observe a protruding, receding, or 
flattened cube, or an indeterminate 
light-form with a certain mass. 

Coll. David Whitney, New York 

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AFRUM, 1967 

Uitgevoerd in het Pasadena Art Museum, 
Cal., 1967 

Uitgevoerd in het huis van Giuseppe 
Panza di Biumo, Varese, Italie, 1975 
Uitgevoerd in het Stedelijk Museum, 1976 
(Zie tekening AFRUM, 1967) 

Xenonprojector en een uitgezaagde vorm 
in een messingplaat, die zo groot is als 
een dia. 

De vorm wordt door een ellipsvormig gat 
in het plafond geprojecteerd in de hoek. 
Hoewel lenzen, stand van spiegels, 
stroom, spanning, de wanden waarop 
geprojecteerd wordt, dezelfde zijn als 
bij SHANTA, worden door het verschil in 
vorm en door het verschil in afstand en 
hoek van de projector met het 
projectievlak toch andere kleurnuances 
en optische effecten verkregen. Bij 
SHANTA gaat de kleur van het licht naar 
het blauwige toe en worden meer 
illusionistische zienswijzen aangeboden 
dan bij AFRUM, waar de kleur eerder 
naar het gelige toe gaat. 

Coll. Giuseppe Panza di Biumo, Varese, 

AFRUM, 1967 

Realized in the Pasadena Art Museum, 
Cal., 1967 

Realized in the house of Giuseppe Panza 
di Biumo, Varese, Italy, 1975 
Realized in the Stedelijk Museum, 1976 
(See drawing AFRUM, 1967) 

Xenon projector and a form cut out of a 
brass plate, the size of a slide. 

The form is projected onto the corner 
through an elliptical hole in the 
ceiling. Although lenses, position of 
the mirrors, voltage, light intensity, 
surface of projection, are all identical 
to those used in SHANTA, the difference 
in distance and angle between projector 
and projection surface, together with 
modified form in the projector, give 
rise to different colour nuances and 
optical effects. SHANTA with its 
slightly bluish tone provides more 
illusionistic viewing than AFRUM, in 
which the colour tends toward yellow. 
Coll. Giuseppe Panza di Biumo, Varese, 

// Mi*, fp 


Zaal 8 / Room 8 

RAEMAR, 1969 

Uitgevoerd in het Stedelijk Museum, 1976 
Twaalf T.L. buizen, 65 W, kleur nr. 57RS 
Aan de rechterzijde is een tweede wand 
ca. 16 cm v66r de bestaande wand 
aangebracht, zonder dat deze het plafond, 
de zijwanden of de vloer raakt; zij 
blijft er aan alle zijden ca. 8,5 cm 
vanaf. Achter deze wand zijn rondom de 
randen T.L. buizen geplaatst, zodanig 
dat zij niet zichtbaar zijn voor de 
bezoeker. Deze neemt de reflecties van 
het licht op de wanden waar en de 
verlichte rand rondom de tweede wand, 
waardoor die lijkt te zweven en de 
ruimte onbepaald lijkt. 

RAEMAR, 1969 

Realized in the Stedelijk Museum, 1976 
Twelve fluorescent tubes, 65 W, colour 
no. 57RS 

A screen-wall has been erected c. 6.1 
in. in front of the bearing wall, the 
screen is £. 3.3 in. shorter on all 
four sides than the wall behind. The 
back of the screen-wall is bordered 
with fluorescent tubes, which are 
hidden from view. The viewer observes 
the light reflected on the walls, and 
the glow on all sides of the screen: 
the screen seems to float, and the 
space is indefinable. 

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Zaal 7 / Room 7 

RONDO, 1969 

Uitgevoerd in het Stedelijk Museum, 1976 
Twaalf T.L. buizen, 65 W, kleur nr. 33 
Twaalf T.L. buizen, 40 W, kleur nr. 33 
Zowel aan de rechter- als aan de 
linkerzijde van de zaal is een tweede 
wand ca. 16 cm vddr de bestaande wand 
geplaatst, die alleen de vloer raakt, 
maar ca. 8,5 cm van de zijwanden en het 
plafond afblijft. Deze drie randen zijn 
op dezelfde manier aangelicht als bij 
RAEMAR. Afhankelijk van de plaats, kijk- 
en looprichting van de bezoeker, lijken 
de wanden met de verlichte randen iets 
naar buiten of naar binnen te draaien. 

RONDO, 1969 

Realized in the Stedelijk Museum, 1976 
Twelve fluorescent tubes, 65 W, colour 
no. 33 

Twelve fluorescent tubes, 40 W, colour 
no. 33 

On the left and right sides of the room 
a screen-wall has been erected c. 6.1 
in. in front of the wall; both screens 
meet the floor and stop short of the 
walls and ceiling by 3.3 in. These three 
edges are illuminated in the same way as 
in the RAEMAR project. Depending on the 
position and viewing angle of the 
spectator, the screens with their 
illuminated edges appear to turn 
slightly inward or outward. 


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Zaal 6 / Room 6 

WEDGEWORK 3, 1969 

Uitgevoerd in het Stedelijk Museum, 1976 
(Zie tekening WEDGEWORK 2, 1969) 

Twee T.L. buizen, 65 W, kleur nr. 57 
Een T.L. buis, 40 W, kleur nr. 77, 

Osran L - Fluora 

Op een afstand van 376 cm van de 
tegenoverliggende wand is een tweede 
wand geplaatst van 625 cm lengte, die 
aan de losstaande zijde een scherpe 
schuine kant heeft.Langs dit schuine 
vlak scheert een blauwig licht van de 
T.L. buizen met kleur nr. 57. De hoek 
die het schuine vlak maakt, en de plaats 
van dit vlak en de T.L. buizen is 
zodanig dat het licht als het ware een 
transparant vlak vormt van de 
afgeschuinde wand tot precies in de 
afgeronde hoek. Tussen dit transparante 
blauwige vlak en het er achter hangende 
roodachtige licht var. de T.L. buis met 
kleur nr. 77, valt vooral langs de 
randen een groenige kleur waar te nemen. 

WEDGEWORK 3, 1969 

Realized in the Stedelijk Museum, 1976 
(See drawing WEDGEWORK 2, 1969) 

Two fluorescent tubes, 65 W, colour 
no. 57 

One fluorescent tube, 40 W, colour no. 

77, Osram L - Fluora 
At a distance of 145.5 in. from the 
facing wall, a screen-wall 234.7 in. 
long has been erected; the free-standing 
edge recedes at an acute angle. A bluish 
glow, from fluorescent tubes colour no. 
57, floods past this edge. Due to the 
acuteness of the edge, the placement of 
the screenwall and the position of the 
fluorescent tubes, the light forms a 
transparent sheet stretching from the 
wall edge across to the opposite, 
rounded, corner of the room. Between 
this transparent bluish sheet of light 
and the reddish glow from the 
fluorescent tubes colour no. 77 further 
back, a zone of a greenish shade may be 

Kabinetten 5-2 / Cabinets 5-2 

ARHIRIT, 1975-76 

Uitgevoerd in het Stedelijk Museum, 1976 
Daglicht, zwart vlieseline, 
verschillende lagen gekleurd en 
ongekleurd doorschijnend papier 
(Cabinet 5 turquoise papier 
(Cabinet 4 rood papier 
(Cabinet 3 paars papier 
Kabinet 2 violet papier 
Voor het raam van ieder kabinet is zwart 
vlieseline aangebracht, waarin allerlei 
vierkantjes zijn uitgeknipt om het 
invallende licht zodanig te reguleren 
dat in het hele kabinet eenzelfde soort 
licht hangt. In de voor het raam 
opgetrokken wand, is een rechthoek van 
59,5 x 120 cm uitgespaard, waarin de 
lagen gekleurd en ongekleurd 
doorschijnend papier zijn gespannen, 
waardoor het invallende licht een 
bepaalde kleur krijgt. De sterkte van 
het gekleurde licht is afhankelijk van 
de stand van de zon, de mate van 
schijnen, het wolkendek, kortom het weer. 
Geen enkel kabinet is ooit hetzelfde; een 
ruimte met steeds wisselende afmetingen, 
een peilloze ruimte, een ruimte waar het 
licht hangt als een soort massa... 

ARHIRIT, 1975-76 

Realized in the Stedelijk Museum, 1976 
Daylight, black wilene, 
various layers of coloured and plain 
transparent paper 
Cabinet 5 turquoise paper 
Cabinet 4 red paper 
Cabinet 3 purple paper 
Cabinet 2 violet paper 
The window in each cabinet is covered 
with a sheet of black wilene in which 
square perforations have been made 
in order to regulate the incoming light 
in such a way that the entire space is 
filled with the same kind of light. A 
screen-wall has been erected in front of 
the window, with an aperture of 13.2 x 
46.8 in. which is in turn covered with 
the layers of coloured and plain 
transparent paper, giving the suspended 
light a specific colour. The intensity 
of the coloured light depends on the 
time of day, the time of year, passing 
clouds, in short, on the weather. Each 
cabinet is subject to constant change: a 
space of ever-changing dimensions, 
immeasurable, a space where the light 
seems to hang as some kind of mass... 

Zaal 1 / Room 1 




Muziek voor het Mendota, 1970-71 
Schema van de projecties van 
stoplichten ' s nachts en van zonlicht in 
Turrell's atelier in het Mendota Hotel, 
Main & Hill Streets, Santa Monica, Cal. 
Pen en potlood op papier, 63 x 83 cm 
(inclusief lijst) 

Coll. Nick Wilder, Los Angeles, Cal. 

Music for the Mendota, 1970-71 
The night stoppages and day sun angles 
(extremes) for the Mendota Hotel, Main & 
Hill Streets, Santa Monica, Cal. 

Pen and pencil on paper, 24$ x 32$ in. 
(including frame) 

Coll. Nick Wilder, Los Angeles, Cal. 


Main & Hill Studio in het Mendota Hotel 
Zwart-wit foto, 35 x 32 cm (inclusief 

Coll. Melinda Wortz, Los Angeles, Cal. 

Main & Hill Studio in the Mendota Hotel 
Black-white photograph, 13$ x 12} in. 
(including frame) 

Coll. Melinda Wortz, Los Angeles, Cal. 


Het Mendota Hotel, 1967-74 
Zwart-wit documentatie foto's; 
twee van het exterieur, 1967 en 1974, 
tien van het interieur 

The Mendota Hotel, 1967-74 
Black-white photographic documents; 
two of the exterior, 1967 and 1974, 
ten of the interior 



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Roden Crater 

Jim Turrell 

In de krater van deze vulkanische berq, 
of op een soortgelijke plek, zal een 
projekt worden gerealiseerd dat een 
samenspel vormt met het luchtruim en de 
gebeurtenissen die in dat luchtruim 

Het projekt doet wat de conceptie 

en t Hn^’cJ e ^ en aa !] hCt Werk 1n de Main 
en Hill Studio in het Mendota Hotel. 

waarbij gebeurtenissen die 's nachts 

de S ^ Udi0 P laatsv °nden het werk 
bepaalden. Deze gebeurtenissen 
ontstonden door autolichten, 
verkeerstekens, straatverlichting, en 
winkels in de omgeving. Er ook bij 
etrokken waren mensen, bomen en andere 
objecten die tussen deze lichtbronnen en 
het interieur van de studio kwamen. De 
controle over deze gebeurtenissen werd 
verkregen door te bepalen welke delen 
van de ruimte buiten het werk zelf 'in 
het gezichtsveld' laoen van de ruimte 
van het werk (b.v. de plaatsing van de 
oqemngen en ramen, en hun afmetingen en 
vormen) en hoe het konkrete interieur 
gevormd en voorbereid werd tot het 
opnemen van het licht dat door de 
openingen binnenviel. Het Mendota 
projekt was zijdelings georienteerd, en 
ontleende zijn gebeurtenissen aan de 
wereld van de nachtelijke bezigheden en 
constructies van de mens. 

De Zon en Maan Ruimte is anders, omdat 
de wereld van gebeurtenissen waar het 
werk aan ontleend is, bestaat uit de 
bewegingen van de zon gedurende een 
etmaal en een jaar, de standen van de 
maan het overal aanwezige licht van het 
luchtruim, het schijnsel van de sterren 
verschillende atmosferische * 

omstandigheden, hun licht en ruimtelijke 
werking, alsmede bepaalde astronomische 
gebeurtenissen. In dit projekt zal het 
tijdsbesef opvallend anders zijn dan in 
het Mendota Hotel. Het projekt zal 
zichzelf dag en nacht 'opvoeren*. 

In concreto zal het bestaan uit twee 
ruimten: een Kiva-achtig ronde kamer, 
geplaatst in de bodem van de krater, en 
het schaalvormige interieur van de 
krater zelf, waarvan de bodem het 
plafond van de ronde kamer raakt. In de 
kijkkamer komt een opening van ongeveer 
10 meter naar de hemel. De rand van de 
opening is zo gemaakt dat alleen de 
onderkant zichtbaar is vanuit de kamer. 

t is mogelijk door de hoek waaronder 
de bovenrand terugwijkt, kleiner te 
houden dan de gezichtshoek van de 
bezoeker indien hij zich aan de uiterste 
zijkant van de kamer bevindt. De 
bedoeling is dat er een optisch effect 

een 6 a?^n l | aC !' t W ° rdt ’ waarbl J ^ hemel 
een glasplaat over de opening lijkt te 

kam"' -- akt de ruim telijkheid van de 
kamer tot een geheel. Het betekent ook 
dat de oneffenheden en richels op de 
bodem van de krater waarlangs het licht 
de kamer binnenva It gedurende bepaalde 
estronomische opstellingen niet 
zichtbaar zijn vanaf de vloer van de 

kl?mr'„^ nn ! er .' n ! n uit de ronde kam er 
klimt naar de bodem van de krater, komt 

men door het illusoire hemelvlak, naar 
een afgepliiUe bolvormige hemel, dankzij 
de schaalvormige krater en de J 

scheppen nende horizon die deze illusie 




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Roden Crater 

Jim Turretl 

In the crater of this volcanic mount, or 
one similar to it, a piece will be made 
that interacts with the space of the sky 
and the events which occur within that 

The piece is similar in concept to the 
work in the Main and Hill studio in the 
Mendota where events that occured in the 
space outside the studio at night " 
"performed the piece". These events 
involved the lights from cars, signals, 
street lights, and local shops. Also 
involved were people, trees and other 
objects which came between these light 
sources and the studio space. The 
control through which these events were 
utilized was accomplished by selecting 
which portions of the space outside the 
piece were "looked out into" by the 
space of the piece (i.e. where the 
apertures and windows were located, and 
their size and shape) and how the 
physical interior was formed and 
prepared to accept the light that came 
through the apertures. The Mendota piece 
was side looking and drew its events 
from the universe of the night 
activities and constructions of man. 

The Sun and Moon Space is different in 
that the universe of events the piece is 
drawn involves the motions of the sun 
throughout the day and the year, the 
motions of the moon throughout its 
phases, ambient sky light, star light, 
sky conditions in the atmosphere and the 
light and spatial effects, they create 
and.certain astronomical events. In this 
piece the sense of time will be markedly 
different from the time sense in the 
Mendota. The piece will "perform" itself 
throughout the day and night. 

Physically it will consist of two 
spaces: a Kiva-like circular chamber set 
into the bottom of the crater and the 
bowl-shaped interior of the crater 
itself, the floor of which meets the 
ceiling of the circular chamber. The 
viewing chamber will have an 
approximately 30' opening to the sky. 

The edge of this opening is made in such 
a way that only the lower edge is 
visible when inside the chamber. This is 
done by making the upper edge recede at 
a shallower angle than a viewer's angle 
of vision would be if standing at the 
extreme side of the chamber. This is 

done so that there is a figure-ground 
illusion with the sky seeming to form a 
sheet of glass over the opening. This 
makes the sense of space in the chamber 
whole. This also means that the troughs 
and ridges on the crater floor, used to 
allow light to enter the chamber during 
certain astronomical alignments, are not 
visible from the chamber floor. Climbing 
up from the circular chamber to the 
floor of the crater one would pass 
through the illusory flat plane of sky 
to a flattened spherical-shaped sky due 
to the bbwl-shaped crater and the 
subtended horizon which tend to create 
this illusion. 





Roden Crater, Flagstaff, N.Arizona, 1975 
De zonnetijd bij de krater is 25 min. en 
1 1/3 sec. vroeger dan de standaardtijd 
in de bergen (N.Arizona) 

Topografische kaart, schaal 1:250.000, 
kleurenfoto's, pen en viltstift, 57 x 82 
cm (inclusief lijst) 

Roden Crater, Flagstaff, N.Arizona, 1975 
Solar time at crater is 25 min. 1 1/3 
sec. earlier than mountain standard time 
(Northern Arizona) 

Topographical map, scale 1:250.000, 
colour photographs, pen and felttip-pen, 
22J x 32$ in. (including frame) 


Twee topografische kaarten van Roden 

Crater en omgeving 

68 x 103 cm en 95 x 216 cm 

Two topographical maps of Roden Crater 

26$ x 40$ in. and 37$ x 85 in. 


Plattegrond van Roden Crater, 1975 
Uitersten in azimuts voor zon en maan 
bij de Roden Crater 

Pen, potlood, ballpoint en viltstift op 
papier, 34 x 44 cm (inclusief lijst) 

Ground-plan of Roden Crater Site, 1975 

Extremes in azimuths for sun & moon at 

the Roden Crater Site 

Pen, pencil, ballpoint and felttip-pen 

on paper, 13$ x 17$ in. (including 



Roden Crater, 1975 

Vier kleurenfoto's, elk 35 x 40,5 cm 
(inclusief lijst) 

Roclen Crater Site, 1975 

Four colour photographs, each 13$ x 15$ 

in. (including frame) 


Roden Crater, 1975 

Twee kleurenfoto's, 29 x 47,5 cm 

(inclusief lijst) 


Roden Crater Site, 1975 

Two colour photographs, 11$ x 18$ in. 

(including frame) 


Maquette van Roden Crater en omgevinq, 
1975 y 

Hardboard, 25 x 126 x 247 cm (inclusief 

Model of Roden Crater Site, 1975 
Hardboard, 10 x 49$ x 97$ in. (including 


Maquette van Roden Crater, 1975 
Hardboard, twee delen, 17 x 120 x 157 cm 

Model of Roden Crater Site, 1975 
Hardboard, two parts, 6$ x 47$ x 61$ in. 


Twee maquettes van Roden Crater, 1975 
De huidige toestand en de voorgestelde 
vorm van de kratermond 
Hardboard, 2,5 x 50 x 35 cm en 2,2 x 50 
x 35 cm 

Two models of Roden Crater Site, 1975 
Present form of crater & Proposed form 
of crater for piece 
Volume of earth equal to before 
Hardboard, 1 x 19$ x 13$ in. and o.6 x 
19$ x 13$ in. 

Biografie / Biography 


James Archie Turrell, geboren / born Los 

Los Angeles, Cal., 6 mei / May 


Eindexamen / Graduated High School, 
Pasadena, Cal. 


Graad in de psychologie / BA Psychology, 
Pomona College, CLaremont, Cal. 

1965 - 67 

kunstopl.eiding / Art graduate studies, 
University of California, Irvine, Cal. 

1967 - 74 

Woont en werkt / Lives and works in The 
Mendota Hotel, Main & Hill Streets, 

Ocean Park, Santa Monica, Cal. 


Beurs / Grant National Endowment for the 


Art and Technology Program of the 
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los 
Angeles, Cal. (met / with Robert Irwin, 
Dr. Edward Wortz: Garrett project) 

1973 ' 
Voltooit kunstopleiding / MA Art, 
Claremont, Cal. 


Beurs / Fellowship Guggenheim. Zoekt zes 
maanden per vliegtuig naar lokaties voor 
Zon en Maan projekt (vulkaan) / Spends 
six months searching by air for sites 
for Sun and Moon project (volcano) 


Aanvullende beurs / Matching Grant 
National Endowment for the Arts, i.v.m./ 
regarding Roden Crater 


Werkt in Amsterdam aan zijn 
tentoonstel ling in het Stedelijk Museum/ 
Works in Amsterdam on his exhibition in 
the Stedelijk Museum 

Onderwijservaring / Teaching Experience 


Assistent docent / Student Teacher, 
University of California, Irvine, 
California, winter / Winter Quarter 


Docent / Lecturer, University of 
California, Los Angeles, California, 
zomer / Summer 

Bocent / Lecturer, University of 
California, Riverside, California, 
winter en voorjaar / Winter and Spring 

1971 - 73 

Gast kunstenaar / Visiting Artist, 

Pomona College, Claremont, California 

1972 ■ 73 

Gast kunstenaar / Visiting Artist, 
Claremont Graduate School, Claremont, 


Docent / Lecturer, University of 
California, Irvine, California, winter / 
Winter Quarter 

Bibliografie / Bibliography 

Philip Leider - Gallery ‘68. Look , 

New York, vol. 32, no. 1, 9.1.1968, pp. 
14 - 21 (p. 17). 

Robert Morris - The Art of Existence. 
Artforum , New York, vol. IX, no. 4 
januari / January, 1971, pp. 28 - 33 
(p. 30). 

Elizabeth C. Baker - Los Angeles, 1971. 
Art News , New York, vol. 70, no. 5, 
September, 1971, pp. 27 - 39 (p. 31). 

Jane Livingston - Los Angeles: Barbara 
Munger. Artforum, New York, vol. X, no. 
5, januari / January, 1972, pp. 74 - 76 
(p. 74). 

Peter Plagens - 'Ed Moses' The Problem 
of Regionalism, Los Angeles. Artforum, 
New York, vol. X, no. 7, maart / March, 
1972, pp. 83 - 85 (p. 85). 

Eugenia S. Robbins - Exhibitions of 
Faculty Artists, Pomona College. 

Art Journal , New York, vol. XXXII/1, 
najaar / Fall, 1972, p. 94. 

Peter Plagens - Larry Bell Reassessed. 
Artforum , New York, vol. XI, no. 2, 
October, 1972, pp. 71 - 73 (p. 73). 

Peter Plagens - Rays of Hope, Particles 
of Doubt. Artforum , New York, vol. XI, 
no. 10, juni / June, 1973, pp. 32 - 35 
(P- 34). 

Peter Plagens - Sunshine Muse, 
Contemporary Art on the West Coast . 

Praeger Publ., New York - Washington, 

1974, p. 132, ill. 

John Coplans - Pasadena's Collapse & the 
Simon Takeover / Diary of a Disaster. 
Artforum , New York, februari / February, 

1975, pp. 28 - 45 (pp. 39 - 40), ill. 

Douglas Davies - The New Supercollectors. 
Newsweek, New York, vol. LXXXVI, no. 6. 
11.8.1975, pp. 68 - 69 (p. 69). 

Tentoonstel1 ingen en besprekingen 

(in chronologische volgorde) / 

Exhibitions and Related Reviews 

(in chronological order) 

Eenmanstentoonstellingen / One Man Shows 

Light Projections . Pasadena Art Museum, 
Pasadena (Cal.), 9.10 - 9.11 1967 (cat.), 

John Coplans - James Turrell: Projected 
Light Images. Artforum, New York, vol. 

LI, no. 2, October, 1967, pp. 48 - 49, 
ill., herdrukt / reprinted in cat. 
Pasadena Art Museum. 

Kurt von Meier - Los Angeles. Art 
International , Zurich, vol. XI, no. 9, 
November, 1967, pp. 54 - 57, ill. 

Barbara Rose - A Gallery Without Walls. 
Art in America , New York, vol. 56, no. 2, 
maart - april / March - April, 1968, pp. 
60 - 71, ill. 

Light Projections (Xenon bron / Xenon 
source) in de / the Main and Hill Studio, 
Mendota Hotel, Ocean Park, Santa Monica 
(Cal.), zomer / Summer, 1968. 

Howard Junker & Ann Ray Martin - The New 
Art. Newsweek, New York, vol. LXXII, no. 
5, 29'.7.T968, pp. 56 - 63, ill. 

Thomas B. Hess & John Ashbery, eds. - 
Light / From Aten to Laser. Art News 
Annual, The MacMillan Company, New York, 
mV7'1969, pp. 136 - 137, ill. 

Thomas B. Hess & John Ashbery, eds. - 
Light in Art, Collier, New York, 1969, 
p. 135V - 

Light Spaces (met als bron licht van 
buiten / Existing outside light as 
source) in de / the Main and Hill Studio, 
zomer / Summer, 1969, en zomer / and 
Summer 1970. 

Doug Davies - The View From Hill and 
Main. Newsweek, New York, vol. LXXIV, no. 
17, 27.10.1969, p. Ill, ill. 

Nan R. Piene - L.A. Trip. Art in America , 
New York, vol. 58,. no. 2, maart - april/ 
March - April, 1970, pp. 138 - 141. 

Wiloughby Sharp - New Directions in 
Southern California Sculpture. Arts 
Magazine , New York, vol. 44, no. 8, 
zomer / Summer, 1970, pp. 35 - 38. 

Aerial Pieces with Planes and Clouds, 

(in samenwerking met / in collaboration 

Groepstentoonstellingen / Group Shows 

with Sam Francis): Pasadena en / and 
Amsterdam, 1969 - 70. 

Wiloughby Sharp - Rumbles. Avalanche, 
New York, vol. 1, no. 1, najaar / Fall, 
1970, pp. 2 - 3, ill. 

Lichtprojecties en lichtruimten / Sight 

Projections and Light Spaces . Stedelijk 

Museum, Amsterdam, 10.4- 23.6 1976. 

Art & Technology Show . Los Angeles 
County Museum (in samenwerking met / in 
collaboration with Robert Irwin en / and 
Dr. Edward Wortz, Project Scientist, 

Life Science Division, Garrett 
Corporation, Los Angeles, Cal.), 1968 - 

William Wilson - Two California Artists 
are Busy Exploring Inner Space. The Los 
Angeles Times , Los Angeles, Cal., vol. 

78, Section D, zondag / Sunday, 


Maurice Tuchman - A & T: A Report on the 
Art and Technology Program of the Los 

Angeles County Museum of Art 1967 r T971 , 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los 

Angeles, Cal., 1971, pp. 127 - 142, ill. 
(verslag / report Robert Irwin / James 
Turrell: Jane Livingston). 

Jane Livingston - Some Thoughts on 'Art 
and Technology'. Studio International , 
London, vol. 181, no. 934, juni / June, 
1971, pp. 258 - 263. 

William Wilson - 'A & T* Catalogue Paint 
Paints Picture of Struggle. Los Angeles 
Times , Los Angeles, Cal., vol. 90, 
Calendar Section, zondag / Sunday, 
8.8.1971, p. 57. 

David Antin - Art and the Corporations. 
Art News, New York, vol. 70, no. 5, 
September, 1971, pp. 23 - 26 & 52 - 56. 

Max Kozloff - The Billion Dollar Art 
Boondoggle. Artforum , New York, vol. X, 
no. 2, October, 1971, pp. 72 - 76. 

Douglas Davies - Art and the Future: A 
History / Prophecy of the CollaboratTon 

Between Science, Techno 1 ogy and Art^ 

Praeger Pub., New York, l§/3, pp. 161 - 

166, ill. 

3D Into 2D: Drawing for Sculpture . The 
New York Cultural Center, New York, 

19.1 - 11. 3 1973 (cat.). 

University of California, Irvine 3 

1965 - 75. La Jolla Museum of 

Contemporary Art, La Jolla, (Cal.). 

7.11 - 14.12 1975 (cat.). 

Gagosian Gallery 

Private view 
Tuesday October 12, 

October 13 — 
December 10, 

6-8 pm 

6-24 Britannia Street, 
London WC 1 X 9 JD 

0207841 9960 

THURSDAY, MARCH 14, © - 8 P.M. 



JUNE-OCT 2013 


James Turrell, rendering for Aten 
Reign , 2013. Daylight and LED light. 
Site-specific installation, Solomon R. 
Guggenheim Museum, New York 
© James Turrell. Rendering: Andreas 
Tjeldflaat, 2012 © SRGF 

JUNE 21-SEPT 25 

Since the late 1960s, James Turrell has 
conceived a wide-ranging yet remarkably 
consistent series of installations that ex¬ 
plore perception and the materiality of 
light With their refined formal language 
and quiet, almost reverential atmospheres 
of introspection and reflection, his works 
revel in the optical and emotional effects 
of luminosity. Building on his early research 
into sensory deprivation (particularly the 
Ganzfeld effect, in which viewers experi¬ 
ence disorienting, unmodulated fields of 

James Turrell is organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim 
Foundation, New York, in conjunction with the Los Angeles 
County Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. 

The Leadership Committee for James Turrell is gratefully 
acknowledged for its support, including Lisa and Richard Baker, 
Pace Gallery, Almine Rech Gallery, Fundacidn Almine y Bernard 
Ruiz-Picasso, and those who wish to remain anonymous. 

color), Turrell pursues a state of reflexive 
vision that he calls “seeing yourself seeing,” 
in which we become aware of the function 
of our own senses and of light as a tangible 
substance. These perceptual interests are 
coupled with a dedicated interest in the 
natural world, manifested most fully in his 
magnum opus, the Roden Crater Project 
(1979- ). Currently under construction in 
the desert outside Flagstaff, Arizona, this 
modified extinct volcano will house nearly 
twenty separate installations, many care¬ 
fully aligned with astronomical phenomena 
and all incorporating natural luminance. 

The artists first solo exhibition in a New 
York museum since 1980, James Turrell 
considers his long-standing interest in 
perception, light, color, and space, giving 

special attention to the role of site- 
specificity in his practice. Aten Reign 
(2013), a major project created by the artist 
especially for the Guggenheim, recasts 
the museums rotunda as a volume of shift¬ 
ing natural and artificial light. One of the 
most dramatic transformations of the 
museum ever conceived, the work reimag¬ 
ines Frank Lloyd Wrights iconic architec¬ 
ture—its openness to nature, its graceful 
curves, its magnificent sense of space and 
light—as one of Turrells immersive instal¬ 
lations. A series of interconnected rings 
lined with LED (light-emitting diode) 
fixtures form five concentric ellipses that 
echo the banded pattern of the museum’s 
helical architecture. Radiating waves of 
vibrant color, these rings surround a core 


of daylight gathered from the museums 
oculus that connects the work to the out¬ 
side environment. Experienced for the 
first time only from below, the rotunda 
appears not as an open void but as an 
ever-shifting mass of light that expands 
and contracts above the heads of visitors. 
Through these interventions, Turrell has 
rekindled the Guggenheim’s identity as a 
“temple of spirit” (to quote the museum’s 
first director, Hilla Rebay), encouraging a 
state of meditative contemplation. 

Drawn from loans as well as the mu¬ 
seum’s Panza Collection, the show also 
includes a selection of works that ground 
Turrell’s newest project in his early inves¬ 
tigations into light and space. In Afrum I 

(White) (1967), visitors encounter a glow¬ 
ing cube floating in the corner of a room, 
but what appears to be a solid object re¬ 
veals itself upon inspection simply to be 
planes of light projected onto the wall. 
Prado (White) (1967) seems to open into 
another room even though it is only com¬ 
posed of brilliant light on a solid wall. 
Alongside these projections, selections 
from the related etching portfolio First 
Light (1989-90) explore how the aquatint 
technique can invoke qualities of radi¬ 
ance. Ronin (1968) transforms an actual 
gap in the wall with a veil of pure white 
light that takes on an architectural pres¬ 
ence of its own. A similar effect yields a 
flat panel of color in lltar (1976), but upon 

James Turrell. Ronin, 1968. 

' H 1 *’*r '*(-'^"4%, I ; !'!■■■:■' ' :i 

• | isi I , ■' 

' I I ' " - r ' 

Construction plan for 
Aten Reign, 2013. 
Elevation view. Plan: 
Jaime Roark and 
Aviva Rubin © SRGF 

approaching the work visitors realize that 
the darkened rectangular form on the wall 
opens into a large chamber. Employing the 
sparest of means, these installations evince 
profound revelations into the nature of 
perception and space. 

The works on view in the museum’s 
Annex Level galleries also connect this 
presentation to concurrent exhibitions held 
at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art 
and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. 
Together, these three independently or¬ 
ganized exhibitions offer an unparalleled 
opportunity to experience Turrell’s oeuvre, 
examining different facets of his five- 
decade career. 

— Carmen Gimenez, Stephen and Nan 
Swid Curator of Twentieth-Century Art, 
and Nat Trotman, Associate Curator 

Visit James Turrell online at 




JULY 19,2 pm Nat Trotman 
This tour will be ASL-interpreted. 
sept 13,2 pm Nat Trotman 


aug 23,2 pm Joanna Phillips 

See calendar for additional programs. 

SAISON 1994 - 1995 


Opera de chambre de Pascal DUSAPIN et James TURRELL 

commande de I'ATEM 

17 novembre - ler decembre 1994 

dans le cadre du Festival d'Automne a Paris 

Photo : Volker Parker 

SAISON 1994 - 1995 


Op£ra de chambre de Pascal DUSAPIN et James TURRELL 

commande de l'ATEM 

Livret en anglais, adaptation du compositeur d'apres 
A Lyrical Opera Made by Two de Gertrude STEIN 


Sarah LEONARD, soprano 
Susan NARUCKI, soprano 
Rosemary HARDY, soprano 
Geoffrey CAREY, speaker 

Ensemble Modern, direction Olivier DEJOURS 
Partie electroacoustique realisee a 1'IRC AM 

Mise en scene Pascal DUSAPIN, Francois de CARPENTRIES 

Musique Pascal DUSAPIN 
Scenographie James TURRELL 

Assistant a la scenographie Michael BOND 


ATEM/ Theatre Nanterre - Amandiers/ 

Marstall Munich/ Theater Am Turin Francfort/ 

Hebbel Theater Berlin / Wiener Festwoehen 


le Festival d'Automne a Paris, 

1'Association ORCOFI pour 1'Opera, la Musique et Ies Arts, 

Le Goethe Institut. 

Spectacle enregistre par France-Musique 
La partition de To Be Sung est editee aux editions Salabert, Paris 

17 novembre - ler decembre 1994 

Theatre Nanterre - Amandiers 
7, av Pablo Picasso 
92000 Nanterre 
RER Nanterre - Prefecture 
Navette assuree par ie theatre 

Soirees k 2DH30 
Dimanche 20 nov a 1611 
rel&elie Ies 18, 21, 24, 
27, 30 novembre 1994 


Theatre Nanterre - Amandiers : 46 14 70 00 
Festival d’ Automne : 42 96 96 94 

Relations Presse 

Marie-IM&ne ARBOUR (40 30 10 39) 
Nathalie GASSER (Nanterre 46 14 70 42 / 32) 
Corinne MOREAU (Festival d'Automne 42 96 12 27) 


Apres Romeo & Juliette (Opera de Montpellier, Festival d'Avignon, Festival Musica 
en 1989) et Medeamaterial (Theatre Royal de la Monnaie de Bruxelles en 1992), sera 
cree aux Amandiers de Nanterre le troisieme opera du compositeur franqais Pascal 
Dusapin. Prenant la forme d'un opera de chambre - trois voix de soprano, un speaker 
et ensemble instrumental (flute, hautbois, clarinette, trompette, trombone, 
violoncelle, contrebasse) - To Be Sung a ete ecrit en 1993 et est inspire par l'etroite 
collaboration de Pascal Dusapin avec Partiste americain James Turrell. II signe ici la 
scenographie, en realisant une oeuvre originale pour le spectacle. 

Afin de reunir les deux demarches - musicale et plastique - Pascal Dusapin a choisi 
pour livret un des nombreux textes que Gertrude Stein destinait a un projet lyrique (A 
Lyrical Opera Made by Two ) : nul role a proprement parler, nulle epopee ni sujet 
historique, nul drame antique, mais une prose d'imagination pure, oil la delocalisation 
des themes et des protagonistes se prete, pour le musicien, a une lecture parfaitement 
abstraite et poetique et offre plus simplement un contexte a la musique, au chant, au 
jeu, a 1'espace. Les trois chanteuses, reunies dans ces jongleries verbales, forment 
ainsi un petit choeur polyphonique, alors que le speaker definit 1'espace virtuel de 
leur evolution. 

L'oeuvre realisde par James Turrell pour To Be Sung, fait appel k differentes 
declinaisons de la lumiere qui definiront le rapport au spectateur. Bien plus qu’un 
decor au sens traditionnel du terme, cette scenographie s'inscrit dans le prolongement 
des installations de 1'artiste americain oit la modification de la perception de 1'espace 
joue un role central. De meme les costumes et maquillages, conqus egalement par 
James Turell, n'auront d'autre fonction que d'inscrire les interpretes dans cet univers. 
Musique, espace et mise en scbne seront done parfaitement lies, renonqant k 1'habituel 
cloisonnement qu’impose 1'opera. 

To Be Sung sera chante dans la langue originale du livret, en anglais. Pour cette 
raison, il beneficie d'une distribution internationale et sera servi par un des meilleurs 
ensembles instrumentaux europeens, FEnsemble Modern de Francfort. La direction 
musicale a ete confiee au chef d'orchestre frangais Olivier Dejours. 

Pascal Dusapin 

Compositeur francais ne it Nancy ie 29 mai 1955. 

Adolescent, il pratique I'orgue, sans imaginer en faire un metier, puis se 
tourne rapidement vers la composition qu'il etudie d'abord en autodidacte. 
Andre Boucourechliev - apres avoir lu sa premiere partition pour orchestre 
(1975, retiree aujourd'hui de son catalogue) - 1'encourage dans cctte voie. 
II presente 1'oeuvre au comit<> de lecture de Radio France qui la regoit a 
I'unanimite, et 1'introduit cn auditeur libre au Conservatoire National 
Superieur de Paris, dans la classe d'Olivier Messiaen. II n'y reste que 
quelques mois, comme d'ailleurs dans les autres institutions 
d'enseignement ou il ne cherche que I'essentiel, le plus vite possible. A la 
Sorbonne, il frequente les cours de Iannis Xenakis pour qui il voue une 
veritable fascination et avee qui il entretient ensuite des rapports plus 
proches, au point que Xenakis le considere a un moment comme son seul 
«eleve». A Vincennes, il a pour professeur Ivanka Stoianova et, a 
1'oceasion d'un seminaire, rencontre Franco Donatoni qui lui dispense - 
dit-il - de precieux conseils d'«artisan». 

Les premieres oeuvres de Pascal Dusapin font sensiblement reference a 
ces deux compositeurs : Titnee (pour Orchestre, 1978) est dedicacee a 
Xenakis el Souvenir du silence (pour treize cordes solistes,1976) s'inspire 
de Donatoni. L'ecriture y est tenduc et confronte de grandes masses 
sonores en mouvement (glissandi, trifles) dans un style marque par 
l'avant-garde des annees cinquante (Xenakis et Donatoni mats aussi 
Stockhausen ou Berio). Son travail acquiert rapidement une plus grande 
autonomic, d'autant qu'il se demarque, par rapport a sa generation, de 
toute ecole de composition. A 22 ans, il est laureat de la Fondation de la 
Vocation et k 26 ans, pensionnaire de la Villa Medicis a Rome. Il a alors 
deja ecrit une douzaine de pieces pour solistes, ensembles et orchestres, sa 
musique est regulierement jouee en France par les ensembles specialises 
(2E2M, Ensemble InterContemporain, Trio a Cordes de Paris...) et les 
orchestres (Orchestre National de France, Orchestre Philharmonique de 
Lorraine) dans les principaux festivals (Rencontres de Metz, Festival de 
La Rochelle, Centre Pompidou). On decouvre une ecriture genereuse, 
montrant une reelle passion pour les instruments - a 1'exclusion du piano 
et des percussions - et pour leurs techniques. Des 1980 ( Inside , alto), il 
leur consacre toute une serie de pieces solistes (Incisa et Item pour 
violoncelle, If pour clarinette, lton pour clarinette basse. Indeed pour 
trombone. Hi pour violon, Il-li-ko pour voix. In & Out pour 
contrebasse, lei et I Pesci pour flute) de laquelie Emergent certaines 
figures caracteristiques: tension entretenue sur les durees, souffle de la 
ligne melodique chromatique et emplovant largement les micro-intervalles, 
complexite rythmique et presence affirmee d'une pulsation, richesse 
timbrale et integration des effets instrumenkiux au discours. Ces qualites 
se retrouvent dans sa musique pour orchestre qui avec La Riviire (1979), 
L'Aven (1980-81) et Tre Scalini (1981-82) constitue une part importante 
de son oeuvre : son goflt. est affirme pour des masses sonores denses et 
energiques et pour des figures tendues 

qui font largement appel - la aussi - au total chromatique, aux micro- 
intervalles, aux glissandi, a une polyphonie eomplexe, a une architecture 
rythmique serree. 

Niobe (1982, pour soprano, douze voix mixtes et huit instruments, creee 
en 1984 au Festival d'Automne k Paris) constitue un tournant dans la 

production de Pascal Dusapin : d'une duree de 35 minutes, eerite d'apres 
des textes d'Ovide, Juvenal, Seneque, Ausone, Properce, {'oeuvre explore 
de nouveaux horizons, en particular vocaux, qui n'etaient que 
partiellement abordes dans Igitur et Lumen (1977, deux pieces pour voix 
de femme et ensemble). CEuvre austere de par son sujet - le genocide, la 
souffrance - qui introduit te Compositeur dans un univers lyrique ou le 
chceur repond a la voix soliste, la commente, la precede. 

Les pieces solistes, Niobe , les vastes pages «symphoniques» ( Assai, 
1985 et Haro, 1987), la musique de chambre (Fist, 1982, Hop, 1983-84, 
Aks , 1987) puis Mimi (1987) et Anacoluthes (1988) ecrites cn 
collaboration avec le poete Olivier Cadiot prefigurent l'opera Romeo & 
Juliette (eerit entre 1986 et 1988 avec le meme ecrivain et cree en 1989). 
Ce vaste ouvrage pour neuf voix solistes, un clarinettiste, chceur et 
orchestre synthetise I'originalitd du compositeur, conduit a la fois vers un 
domaine abstrait et richement dcveloppc, pose les voix en une habile 
construction rythmico-melodique, parlee et chantee, ne dedaignant ni un 
retour a une harmonie plus posee ni certains reperes tonaux, vite depasses 
par les elans furieux de 1'orchestre et les envolees du choeur. Sans rien 
renier de sa complexity, la musique de Dusapin trouve la un premier 
aboutissement libre qui s'inscrit dans revolution logique de sa recherche. 
Cette maturity s'affirme magistralement dans son deuxiemc quatuor a 
cordes ( Time Zones, 1989-90) decoupe en vingt-quatre pieces (les vingt- 
quatre fuseaux horaires) et introduisant de nouvelles formes faisant a la 
fois appel au developpement des materiaux, mais aussi a une approche 
plus eclatee et fragmentaire des «instants» musicaux. CEuvre exigeante et 
d'une duree imposante (pres de 40 minutes) elle juxtapose des moments 
tenus et quasi-ascetiques a de violentes eruptions, jusqu'aux pieces finales 
au rythme implacablement decoupe en triples croches. 

En 1992, deux partitions dans la continuity de cette ambition ont ete 
creees : La Melancholia (oratorio pour voix et instruments solistes, chceur 
et orchestre) au Theatre du Chatelet et Medeamaterial (opera pour 5 
solistes, choeur et orchestre baroque sur un texte de Heiner Muller) 
assoeiec au Didon et Enee de Purcell, au Theatre de la Monnaie de 
Bruxelles. Parmi ses dernieres oeuvres, citons Go, solo pour orchestre, 
cree aux rencontres musicales d’Evian sous la direction de Mstislav 
Rostropovich, Comoedia pour soprano et six instrumentistes (1992) et 
son Quatuor a Cordes n°3 cree en 1993 par le Quatuor Arditti dans le cadre 
du Bicentenaire du Louvre. Personnalite predominante de la musique 
francaise d'aujourd'hui, Pascal Dusapin est actuellement compositeur cn 
residence a 1'Orchestre National de Lyon. 

A. G. 

James Turrell 

Le s oeuvres de James Turrell proviennent toutes d'une recherche sur la 
lumiere commcncee a ['hotel Mendota, en 1968, a Los Angeles. A pres des 
projections de lumieres construisant d'hypothctiqucs cubes ou formes 
"illusoires" sur les murs, il en vint a melanger lumieres exterieures et 
inlerieures, a creer toutes sortes de decoupes (murs, toils) de son studio 
afin d'intcrroger jusqu'a l'extrcme les limites spatiales de la perception. De 
toutes ces variations sont nees des sdries, des oeuvres identifiables qu'il a 
pu realiser dans les galeries et les musees du monde entier. 

1943 Naissance de James Turrell a Los Angeles 

1960 Apprend a piloter 

1965 Etudie la psychologic, commence h s'interesser a I'art 

1966 Premiere Projection Piece : Proto-Afrum 

1967 Premiere exposition personnels au Pasadena Art Museum 
Premier Sky Drawings dans le ciel de Los Angeles et de 
Tokyo avcc Sam Francis 

1968 Recherche sur le phenomcne de la perception avec 
Robert Irwin et Dr Edward Wortz (Nasa) pendant trois ans 

1969 S'installe a Mendota Hotel. Cree son atelier et elabore son 
oeuvre a venir 

1974 Le collectionneur Giuseppe Panza di Biumo commande six 
oeuvres pour sa villa de Varese 

Premier Sky space 
Trouve le Roden Crater 

1975 Travaille a Varese 

1976 Exposition pcrsonnelle, Stcdelijk Museum, Amsterdam 

1977 Achat du Roden Crater aide par la Dia Art Foundation 

1979 S'installe a Flagstaff, Arizona 

1980 Retrospective au Whitney Museum, New York 

1981 Exposition personnelle, Galerie Leo Castclli, New York 

1982 Exposition personnelle. Center on Contempory Art, Seattle 
Exposition personnelle, Israel Museum, Jerusalem 

1983 Exposition personnelle, Arc/Musee d'Art Modeme, Paris 

1986 Retrospective au Moca, Los Angeles 

1987 Exposition personnelle, Kunsthalle, Bale 

1989 Exposition personnelle, Musee de Nimes 

Exposition personnelle, Musee de 1'Universite de Floride 

1990 Exposition personnelle, Galerie Stein-Gladstonc, 

New York 

Exposition personnelle, Galerie Froment-Putman, Paris 
Exposition collective, Arc/Musee d'Art Modeme, Paris 
(Collection Comte Panza di Biumo) 

Elaboration d'un jardin d'etoiles, Irish Sky Garden , en 

Exposition personnelle, Galerie Turske and Turske, Zurich 

1991 Exposition personnelle, Williams College Museum ol' Art, 
Williams town 

Exposition personnelle, Rhode Island School of Design, 
New York 

Exposition personnelle, Kunst Museum, Berne 
Exposition de dessins, Galerie Froment-Putman, Paris 
Exposition personnelle, Espace Lulay, Liege 
Exposition personnelle, Galerie Friedman Guiness, 

Exposition personnelle, Confort Moderne, Poitiers 
Exposition personnelle, Galerie Antony d'Offray, Londres 
Exposition personnelle, Galerie Turske and Turske, Zurich 

1992 Exposition personnelle, Musee d'Art Contemporain, Lyon 
Exposition personnelle, Kunsterverein, Dusseldorf 
Exposition personnelle, Wiener Secession, Vienne 
Exposition personnelle. Belvedere, Royal Garden of 
Prague Castle, Prague 

Exposition personnelle, Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, 

Exposition personnelle. The Israel Museum, Jerusalem 
Exposition collective, Kunsthaile, Basel 

1993 Exposition personnelle, Fundacion Caja de Pensiones, 

Exposition personnelle, Hayward Gallery, Londres 
Exposition personnelle, Castello di Rivoli, Turin 
Exposition personnelle, Henry Moore Sculpture Trust, 


Chicago - Chicago Art Institute 

Des Moines - The Principal Corporation 

Dusseldorf - Kunstsammlung fur Nordrhein und Weslphalen 

Francfort - Museum fur Moderne Kunst 

Hanovre - Sprengel Museum 

Indianapolis - Indianapolis Museum 

Jerusalem - Israel Museum 

Jouy-en-Josas - Fondation Cartier 

Los Angeles - Lannan Foundation 

Los Angeles - Newport Harbor Art Museum 

Mexico - Centro Cultural Contemporaneo 

New York - Museum of Modem Art 

New York - Whitney Museum of America Art 

New York - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 

Rochechouart - Musee d'Art Contemporain 

Seattle - Seattle Art Museum 

Skibberee - Iriande, Liss Art Foundation 

Olivier Dejours 


Etudes de piano, percussion, composition ct direction d'orchestre aux 
Conservatoires dc Boulogne, Strasbourg et Paris, avec, entre autres, Jean 
Batignc, Michel Tabachnik et Claude Ballif. 

II est membre des Percussions de Strasbourg pendant six ans. Dc 1982 a 
1984, il est assistant de Giuseppe Sinopoli, puis il dirige l'orchestre de la 
RTBF, 1c NOP, l’orchestre de la RAI de Turin... 

Dans le domainc dc l’opera, il accorde la priorile au travail avec les 
metteurs en scene, parmi lesquels Andre Wilms, Ariel Garcia Valdes, 
Michel Deutsch. Une grande partic de ses activitcs reste consacree a la 
musique contemporaine; il a notamment cree des oeuvres de Iannis 
Xenakis, Luc Ferrari, Emmanuel Nunes et Pascal Dusapin. Il dirige 
actuellement I’Ensemble Le Banquet. 

Il compose egalement pour le theatre (musiques de scene avec Jean-Pierre 
Vincent, Matthias Langhoff, Gilberte Tsai, Michel Deutsch et Philippe 
Lacoue-Labarthe, Jean Dautremay), pour des creations radiophoniques 
(France Culture), cree un spectacle, Scorrendo, pour la Peniche Opera en 

En 1993, il a cree (Edipe d Colonne de Sophocle avec Dido Lykoudis 
(Festival d'Avignon) et dirige Jakob Ijmz de Wolfgang Rihm (raise en 
scene de Michel Deutsch, production de I'Opera du Rhin / Strasbourg). 

Francois de Carpentries 

Ne le 17 juin 1957. 

Il re^oit a Bruxelles sa formation musicale classique ainsi que sa 
formation thealralc et cinematographique au Studio d'Acteurs Parallax. 

Sa formation pratique se diversifie a cettc epoque par 1'intermediaire du 
Cafe-Theatre, du Cinema, de la Mise en Scene. C'est pourtant par 
1'ecriture qu'il obtiendra ses premiers succes. 

Parolier pour Maurane et Isabelle Rigaux, il ecrit egalement plusieurs 
pieces de theatre notamment "Dans la lime avec Cyrano" - Theatre 
National de Bruxelles, ainsi quo "Alio? Id-dedans!" interprete par le 
Theatre Mirabelle durant 85 representations. 

En 1981, Francois de Carpentries decide d'entrer au Theatre Royal de la 
Monnaic oil il pratique differents metiers de la scene. 

En 1984, ii est nomme regisseur de scene et assurera ses fonctions durant 
quatre saisons, sous la direction de Gerard Mortier. 

Un passage au Monnay Dance Group - Mark Morris en qualite de 
regisseur general complete sa formation. 

C'est en 1990 que Gerard Mortier decide de lui confier un des postes 
d'assistant-metteur en scene au Theatre Royal de la Monnaie; il y 
travaillera avec des metteurs en sebne tels que Peter Sellars, Luc Bondy, 
Peter Mussbach, Jacques Delcuvelerie... 

Francois de Carpentries a pour projets de mises en scene // ritorno 
d'Ulysse de Monteverdi, La vole humaine de Poulenc (version pour 
piano) et Fidelia de Beethoven. 

Actuellement, il exerce toujours ses fonctions au Theatre Royal de la 
Monnaie. Il a participc au Festival des Choregies d'Orange 1993. 

Sarah Leonard 


A etudie a la "Guildhall School of Music and Drama". Son repertoire 
s'etend du baroque au contemporain, avec une predilection certaine pour 
ies oeuvres recentes. Elle a travaille avec la plupart des principaux 
compositeurs actuels (Boulez, Donatoni, Cage, Birtwistle...) et elle chante 
les oeuvres majeures du XXeme siecle, de Berg, Schoenberg, Webern, 
Varese, Weill, jusqu'au Requiem de Ligeti. 

Elle a enregistre Didon et Enee avec Trevor Pinnock, lx Couronnement 
de Popee avec Richard Hickox aussi bien que le Miserere d'Arvo Part et 
L'homme qui Prenait sa Femme pour an Chapeau de Michael Nyman. 
Sarah Leonard participe depuis une dizaine d'anndes aux principaux 
evenements musicaux europeens ; elle chante avec des orchestras et 
ensembles comme 1'Ensembie Modern, I'Ensemble InterContemporain, le 
London Sinfonietta, le BBC Symphony, le Concertgebou d'Amsterdam... 

Susan Narucki 


Elle poursuit sa earriere tout aussi bien dans le repertoire classique que 
dans le domaine de la musique du XXeme siecle. Elle a chante sous la 
direction de Pierre Boulez, Zubin Mehta, Lukas Foss, Kent Nagano, 
Oliver Knussen et Reinbert de Leeuw et invitee en tant que soliste par le 
Los Angeles Philharmonic, le New York Philharmonic, et le Ojai Festival. 
Elle a cree les oeuvres de Oily Wilson, Aaron Kernis, David Rakowski... 
A l’opdra , elle a interprets les roles majeurs des oeuvres de Mozart, 
Haendel, Donizetti, Ravel et Richard Strauss. 

Recemmcnl, Susan Narucki a etc chaleureusement accueillie par la 
critique curopeenne, en particulicr avec 1'Ensemble Schoenberg pour 
i'opera de Louis Andriessen Die Materie , et pour Chantfleurs et 
Chantefahles de Lutoslawski avec 1'Orchestre Philharmonique de 
Hongrie. Elle a egalement chante la Seme Symphonic de Gorecki (Festival 
Musica 93), fait ses debuts au Concertgebouw avec Zemlinsky et Claude 
Vivier. Elle a donne ies airs de Haydn avec le Concentus Musicus dirige 
par Nikolaus Harnoncourt a Vienne et en Espagne, 

En mai 1994, elle a cree a Munich le role principal d'un nouvel opera du 
compositeur hollandais Rob Zuidam, Greeze. 

Rosemary Hardy 


Nee en Angieterrc, elle reside en Suede depuis plusieurs annees. 

Rosemary Hardy debute en tant que membre du Dellcr Consort ct dans les 
annees 70 elle participe au renouveau de la musique baroque sous la 
direction de chefs tcls que Roger Norrington, John Eliot Gardiner et David 
Mu n row. 

Elle donne et enregistre de nombreuses oeuvres de Purcell, Haendel et 
Monteverdi, chanlc dans Orfeo de Monteverdi au Kent Opera sous la 
direction de Roger Norrington et se produit dans les principaux festivals 
en Europe et aux Btats-Unis. A Giyndeboume elle tient le role principal de 
Max dans 1'opera d'OIivier Knussen Where the Wild Hungs Are, et le role 
de la gouvemante Rhoda dans Higglety Pigglety Pop!. Elle se produit a la 
Biennale de Venise, au Holland Festival, au Frankfurter Festspiele (entre 
autre dans 1'opera The English Cat de Hans Werner Henze), I'Aldeburgh 
Festival, a Wien Modem et en Finlande au Porvoo, Joensuu et Helsinki 
Festivals. Elle fait unc tournee au Japon avec 1'Ensemble Contrechamps 
de Geneve avec des oeuvres de Ravel, Stravinski et Schoenberg et aux 
Etats-Ums (New York, Los Angeles), en Europe (Amsterdam, Seville, 
Vienne et Salzbourg) avec 1'Ensemble Schoenberg d'Amsterdam avec des 
oeuvres de Zemlinsky et Berg. 

Rosemary Hardy a interprete les oeuvres majeures du repertoire 
contemporain. Recemmcnt elle a donne 1c cycle Harawi d'OIivier 
Messiaen au Berwaid Hail de Stockholm, avec le pianiste Carl-Exel 
Dominique, Les dits de Peter Bornemisza de Gyorgy Kurtag avec le 
pianiste Jean Koerner. Elle enregistre Messages de Feu Demoiselle RV 
Troussova avec 1'Ensemble Modern sous la direction de Peter Eotvos. 

Elle chante avec les principaux orchestres symphoniques europeens dans 
un repertoire qui s'etend de Mozart, Schubert, Berlioz a Webern, Berg, 
Schrecker et Malher dont elle enregistre la 4eme Symphonic sous la 
direction d'Esa-Pekka Salonen pour la television suedoise. 

Rosemary Hardy a donne Erwartung d'Arnold Schoenberg en janvier 
1994 avec 1'Orchestre Philharmoniquc de Stockholm sous la direction 
d'Andrew Davies. 

Geoffrey Carey 

A etudie au Conservatoire National d'Art Dramatique de Paris, la danse 
moderne avec Peter Goss et le chant avec Madame Saulaville. 
Au theatre, il a joue dans les mises en sefene de Jorge Lavelli, Roger 
Planchon, Jean-Claude Fall, Pascal Rambert, Jacques Lassale et Luc 
Bondy. Au cinema, il a tourne avec Wim Wenders, Raoul Ruiz, Daniel 
Lucchetti, Luc Besson et Jacques Demy. Il a egalement participe a des 
spectacles choregraphiques (Jean Gaudin, Regine Chopinot)... 

Ensemble Modern 

Ensemble der Gesellschaft fur Neue Musik. 

L'Ensemble Modern a vu le jour en 1980. II est compose de 25 
musicians, tous solistes dc niveau international. II s'attache a defendre les 
nouvelles tendances de la musique contemporaines, sans renier les 
classiques du XXcme siCcie et le jazz. Dcpuis 1987, il a noue dcs relations 
privilegiees avec Mauricio Kagel, dont il a erde plusieurs partitions. 
L'Ensemble s'est etabli a Francfort en 1985. Quatre principes, aussi 
simples que performants, concourcnt a sa reussitc : les musiciens ont 
choisi d'ctablir des programmes non conventionnels, d'effectuer un travail 
de repetition qui ignore les compromis, de poursuivre une collaboration 
soutenue avec les meilleurs chefs et de preserv er la structure ddmocratique 
de leur formation. En effet, ehaque projet est elabore en commun et 
chaque decision qui comporte des risques aussi bien artistiques que 
financiers est prise par I'ensemble des musiciens. Ses recentes experiences 
avec des musiciens corame Heiner Goebbels ou Franck Zappa, aussi bien 
qu'avec Gyorgy Kurtag ou Karl Heinz Stockhausen montre une ouverture 
remarquable et parfaitement maitrisee quant aux decisions artistiques. 

L'Ensemble Modern bencficie du soutien de la Deutsche Ensemble 
Akademie, avec le coneours de la Gcsellschaft fur Neue Musik et du 
conseil allemand pour la musique (Deutscher Musikrat), avec les fonds de 
la fondation GEMA, du GVL, du Ministere de i'Interieur du Land de 


direction Georges Aperghis et Antoine Gindt 

Crde par Georges Aperghis en 1976 sur l'impulsion du Festival 
d'Automne, 1'Atem est implante a Bagnolet jusqu’en 1991, et rcunit 
musiciens et comediens se consacrant a une recherche sur le geste et la 
musique sous la direction du compositeur. Une vingtaine dc spectacles 
seront ainsi crees pendant cette periode, de La bouteille a la mer (1976) 
jusqu'a Jo jo en 1990. Georges Aperghis associe k de nombreux artistes, 
reguliers ou occasionnels, a donne a 1'Atem son originalitc et defini un 
mode de creation ou theatre et musique se confondcnt, de la gestation des 
oeuvres a leur interpretation. Lcs spectacles de Georges Aperghis ont ete 
joues dans les principaux lieux de creation en Europe (Festivals 
d'Avignon, de La Rochelle, d'Aix-en-Provence, Musica a Strasbourg... et 
Theatres). Depuis 1992, 1'Atem est instaile a Nanterre (Theatre des 
Amandiers) et poursuit ce travail avec l'ambition d'inviter d'autres 
compositeurs, en respcctant les differentes ecritures et esthetiques. Les 
productions reccntcs de 1'Atem sont H, Sextuor, Conversations et 
Tourbillons de Georges Aperghis, La confession impndique de Bernard 
Cavanna, Ou Men le debarquement de'sastreux de Heiner Goebbels, 
Impasse a 7 voix de Richard Dubelski, To Be Sung de Pascal Dusapin et 
James Turrell. 

Calendrier des representations 

— NANTERRE / Theatre des Ainandiers 
Festival d'Automne d Paris 

Jeudi 17 novembre 1994 

lere representation 

Samedi 19 novembre 1994 
Dimanehe 20 novembre 1994 : 

: 2eme 


Mardi 22 novembre 1994 
Mercredi 23 novembre 1994 

: 4eme 
: Seme 

Vendredi 25 novembre 1994 
Samedi 26 novembre 1994 

: 6eme 
; 7eme 

Lundi 28 novembre 1994 
Mardi 29 novembre 1994 

: 8eme 
: 9eme 

Jeudi ier deeembre 1994 

: 1 Ocmc 

— ORLEANS / Carre Saint-Vincent 

Vendredi 9 deeembre 1994 
Samedi 10 deeembre 1994 

: lere representation 
: 2eme 

- MUNICH / Marstall 

Mardi 24 janvier 1995 
Mercredi 25 janvier 1995 

: lere representation 
: 2eme 

Vendredi 27 janvier 1995 
Samedi 28 janvier 1995 
Dimanehe 29 janvier 1995 




Mardi 31 janvier 1995 

: 6eme 

Mercredi ler fevrier 1995 

: 7eme 

Vendredi 3 fevrier 1995 

Samedi 4 fevrier 1995 
Dimanehe 5 fevrier 1995 : 

: 8eme 
: 9eme 
: lOeme 

- FRANCFORT / Theater Am Turm 

Mercredi 22 fevrier 1995 
Jeudi 23 fevrier 1995 

: lere representation 
: 2emc 

Samedi 25 fevrier 1995 
Dimanche 26 fevrier 1995 

: 36me 
: 4eme 

BERLIN / Hebbel Theater 

Mercredi 26 avril 1995 
Jeudi 27 avril 1995 

: lere representation 
: 2eme 

Samedi 29 avril 1995 
Dimanche 30 avril 1995 

: 3eme 
: 46me 

WIEN / Wiener Festwochen 

Mardi 6 juin 1995 

Mercredi 7 juin 1995 

: lere representation 
: 2eme 

Vendredi 9 juin 1995 

Samedi 10 juin 1995 

: 3eme 
: 4eme