Garage Center for Contemporary Culture will present the first solo
exhibition in Russia by one of the world’s most important contemporary artists
- James Turrell. The American artist will be the subject of a retrospective
spanning 40 years, including early experiments with light projections from the
1960s, a specially commissioned Ganzfeld installation
(Purusa) and Perceptual Cell (Light ReignFall),
presented here for the first time.
James Turrell has been creating art from light and space since the 1960s. Over
nearly five decades, he has developed an extensive body of work that includes
sculptures, holograms, installations, and architecture. His carefully
constructed environments are catalysts for viewers to explore the phenomena of
perception. By capturing and emphasizing the evanescent and refractory
qualities of light, Turrell engineers works of art that must be experienced
rather than just viewed.
At Garage, 15 light works, including the horizonless and imageless landscape of
Purusa (2011), will be on view. This newly commissioned work invites
visitors to enter a completely immersive light landscape, engulfing them in a
'sublime bath of light' that produces a sense of perceptual disorientation.
Turrell describes this effect as 'feeling with your eyes', an experience he
regards as not just aesthetic but also spiritual.
The relation of exterior light to interior light is explored further with the
intimately-scaled, self-contained chamber Light ReignFall, a fully
immersive visual and auditory environment of intense light lasting 8 to 12
minutes. Inside the chamber, a single viewer is bathed in a sequence of lights
that triggers the ability to discover the connection between exterior and
interior light, between light seen through the eyes and light seen behind the
eyes (as in a dream).
The exhibition will also include a Space Division Construction, a
Shallow Space Construction and a work from the Wedgework
series, together with seven reflective and transmissive
Several models for Autonomous Structures, which are freestanding
chambers which contain a Ganzfeld or Skyspace interior with a central opening
to the sky, will also be on view. As the artist explains, ‘Autonomous
Structures are just containers for the light, the art is in the experience
of the viewer.’ These spaces evolved from Turrell’s most ambitious project to
date and the crux of his artistic endeavors—the transformation of the Roden
Crater, a dormant volcano in the Arizona desert. The crater is a monumental
celestial observatory, housing a number of site-specific light installations
that are often contained within the artist’s Autonomous
James Turrell was born in 1943 in Los Angeles. He received a
Bachelor of Arts degree in experimental psychology at Pomona College at
Claremont, California in 1965, followed by a Master’s degree in Art from
Claremont Graduate School in 1973. His work is represented in numerous public
collections including Tate Modern, London; the Los Angeles County Museum of
Art; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and the Israel Museum,
Jerusalem. The James Turrell Museum opened in Colomé, Argentina, in 2009.
Important solo exhibitions include the Stedlijk Museum, Amsterdam (1976);
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1980); Israel Museum, Jerusalem
(1982); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1984); MAK, Vienna
(1998-1999); Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh (2002-2003); and The Wolfsburg
Project, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany (2009-2010). In 2013, a major
retrospective will simultaneously open at the Guggenheim Museum, New York, the
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
James Turrell has been transforming the Roden Crater, a natural cinder volcano
situated on the southwestern edge of the Painted Desert in northern Arizona,
into a large-scale artwork since 1972. The work relates to the surrounding sky,
land, and culture through the medium of light. As an observatory, the Roden
Crater will allow visitors to see celestial phenomena with the naked eye.
Construction of the project is under the direction of Dia Art Foundation and
Skystone Foundation with support from the Lannan Foundation.
The artist has been represented by The Pace Gallery since 2002.
Richard Andrews is the curator of James Turrell’s exhibition at
Garage, Moscow. He was previously the Director of the University of
Washington’s Henry Art Gallery for two decades. Prior to that position, Andrews
was Director of the Visual Arts Program at the National Endowment for the Arts
for three years. He was in charge of the public art program at the Seattle Arts
Commission from 1978–1984. Andrews is currently president of the Skystone
Foundation, the organization responsible for the realization of James Turrell’s
Roden Crater project in northern Arizona, and a consultant to the Bill and
Melinda Gates Foundation. Andrews’ interest lies in creating common ground
between contemporary art and the public. To this end, he served as a consultant
and has lectured on public art projects internationally. Exhibitions curated by
Andrews include: Maya Lin’s Systematic Landscapes (2006) and James Turrell’s
Knowing Light (2003), both held at the Henry Art Gallery. In 1991 Andrews
organized the exhibition and catalogue Art Into Life: Russian Constructivism
1914–32, an extensive survey drawn from Russian museums and private
collections. He serves on the National Advisory Committee for the Smithsonian
Archives of American Art and the Cultural Advisory Council for the Art:21
public television series. Andrews is an Affiliate Associate Professor at the
University of Washington School of Art.
James Turrell has been organized in association with
The Pace Gallery, New York.