James Turrell

I spent a moment talking about James Turrell today. The work of his is very Rothko esc. If Rothko had made installation this would of been it. The use of light drawing the eye back or forward, confusing the viewer using a very simple technique with a masterful eye.

Turrell was born is LA and was a trained pilot and engeneer. The past had seen Turrell register as a conscientious objector in the Vietnam war and support himself to fly monks out of Tibet in this period.



I looked at the book ‘JAMES TURRELL’ by Ana Marìa Torres in the library. The images were great. I don’t think much of his lighting up of buildings. They look abit standard in my eyes although that may be because I spend a lot of time at night looking at buildings and their lighting.

Here are some images of ones I particularly liked:

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The images shown here show the exterior of building that are obviously made to house and activate the lighting in a specific way. The exteriors while very sculptural do not do anything particular for me. It’s just like looking at the workings out.

I think his work is very influential to me. The use of cut out spaces and arc-texture, of course it is! With regards to moving forward I think this is another route of what I could do just as I said regarding Rothko.

I have not experienced Turells work personally although as stated by this quote in a review: “gives visitors something that’s pretty rare in contemporary art these days – an experience without need of interpretation or foreknowledge of the artist’s intentions or history. It simply is.”


I feel I am able to get a good image and ideaof what it’s like!

Composting turell I think the use of the installation space of Richard Wilson is evedent and the fact that the spaces are commanded by activation by an audience band their presence

Posted in Contextualisation YEAR 3, Subject YEAR 3