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James Turrell: Light Installations

Underground Gallery
3 Nov 2005–7 Jan 2007

In 2005, Yorkshire Sculpture Park was proud to announce an exhibition of the internationally renowned artist James Turrell. The exhibition presented a series of powerful light installations in the Underground Gallery. 

Comprising three mesmerising works that fill the gallery's three spaces, this was Turrell's first extensive gallery project in Britain outside London and gave an insight into his extraordinary practice. Light is the subject and medium about which Turrell is passionate. Not only are his works about light, they are light, and he uses it to alter our perceptions. A series of his light works transformed the Underground Gallery into wonderful colour, light and space installations. The exhibition featured Ganzfeld: Tight End 2005, a new work created for YSP, which enveloped the entire gallery space and viewer in a blue radiance, recreating a ‘ganzfeld experience’ where the mass of light seems tangible.

Turrell combines the objectivity of a scientist and the creativity of an artist. After studying psychology and astronomy, he studied visual art and in 1966 became involved in the Los Angeles County Museum Art and Technology Programme. Turrell is a pilot and his study of perception and the science of light is extended through his experience of flying. His lifetime obsession, the Roden Crater in the Arizona Desert, is the transformation of an extinct volcano into a series of observation and light works. Turrell is one of the USA's most eminent artists. Light is his material and obsession. His beautiful, thought-provoking works affect the viewer's perceptual sense, enabling pause and meditation.

Enabled by Arts Council England, The Henry Moore Foundation and Abstract Select Limited.

‘My desire is to set up a situation to which I can take you and let you see. I am interested in light because of my interest in our spiritual nature and the things that empower us. My art deals with light itself, not as the bearer of revelation, but as revelation itself.’

James Turrell


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