This is a unique and rarely seen multi-museum cooperation: retrospectives held at the Los Angeles County Museum LACMA, the Houston Fine Arts Museum and the Guggenheim Museum, New York explore nearly fifty years in the career of James Turrell, born 1943 in Los Angeles, a key artist in the Southern California Light and Space movement of the 1960s and 70s.
The exhibitions include early geometric light projections, prints and drawings, installations that are typical for Turrells quest of sensory deprivation and seemingly unmodulated fields of colored light; also some recent two-dimensional works with holograms are part of the shows.
Some sections are also devoted to the Turrell masterwork in process, Roden Crater, a site-specific intervention into the landscape just outside Flagstaff, Arizona, which will be presented through models, plans, photographs, and films.
The LACMA show will take up over 30,000 square feet and examines the entire work of Turrell – from the 1960s to present. Curator Christine Y. Kim states that this immense show has actually been in the planning for some three years.
Turrell became a pioneer in Land Art with his in-progress Roden Crater (1979–ongoing), which is converting a natural volcanic crater near Flagstaff, Ariz., into a combination of observatory and work of art.
He is also widely known for his stunning works using light beams – and one of the highlights of this triple-museum-retrospect is a site-specific piece in New York that will use the oculus atop the Frank Lloyd Wright rotunda as a light source. For New Yorkers, the piece is complementing Meeting (1986), a permanent installation at MoMA PS1.
The exhibition at the Houston Fine Arts Museum focuses on 13 light-based installations that are all from this institution’s own collection, as well as two portfolios of prints and related photographs documenting Roden Crater.
See and experience James Turrell at The Los Angeles County Museum LACMA from 26 May through April 2014, at the Houston Fine Arts Museum ongoing through August and at the Guggenheim Museum New York from June through September this year.