James Turrell is pretty hard to sum up. The most succinct definition would be a ‘sculpter of light’. In his own words, he takes light and ‘makes it seem material’. Which sounds actually rather ordinary, far too ordinary considering this work. He’s no jumped up art student with an exhibition on Brick Lane. In 1977 he bought a 400,000 year old two mile wide extinct volcano in the Arizona dessert, and borred tunnels into the side creating a unique skyspace for exploration and experience of uniquely framed celestial activity. it’s still undergoing work, and is due to be opened to the public in 2011.
Turrell has a range of other installations, on a smaller scale. One which is said to use a flood of light to re create the conditions that mountaineers often report during a whiteout, whereby they’re unable to tell wether it is their eyes seeing, or their mind.
'We have learned to see a certain way. My work is about being gently reminded that this may not be the full way of seeing. Some of my pieces exist as a reminder that we do not have all the answers.'
Turrell has an upcoming exhibition at the Gagosian, London in October, although no mention of it yet on their site, but keep your eyes peeled for dates, one not to miss.