Los Angeles County Museum of Art opens James Turrell: A Retrospective

Los Angeles County Museum of Art presents James Turrell: A Retrospective on view May 26, 2013—April 6, 2014, the first major U.S. survey of Los Angeles-native James Turrell since 1985.

James Turrell, Bridget’s Bardo, 2009, Ganzfeld, Installation view at Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany, 2009, © James Turrell, Photo © Florian Holzherr

James Turrell, Bridget’s Bardo, 2009, Ganzfeld, Installation view at Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany, 2009, © James Turrell, Photo © Florian Holzherr


The exhibition features approximately fifty works tracing five decades of the artist’s career. In addition to early light projections, holograms, and an entire section devoted to his masterwork-in-progress, the Roden Crater project, the exhibition features numerous immersive light installations that address our perception and how we see. LACMA’s retrospective is complemented by concurrent, independently curated exhibitions at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH)(June 9—September 22, 2013); and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (June 21—September 25, 2013). Additional Turrell exhibitions on view this year include the Academy Art Museum, Easton (April 20—July 7, 2013); and Villa Panza, Varese, Italy (October 24, 2013— May 4, 2014).

Turrell’s revolutionary use of light in art makes for an experience that is both physical and optical—requiring visitors to spend anywhere from five to twenty minutes with one artwork, often alone in a gallery or with a limited number of fellow viewers.

Born in Los Angeles in 1943 to a Quaker mother and father who was a school administrator, Turrell attended Pomona College, where his studies concentrated on perceptual psychology and astronomy. In 1973 he received a Master’s degree in art from Claremont Graduate School. His work is represented in numerous public collections including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Tate Modern, London; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and the Israel Museum, Jerusalem. The James Turrell Museum opened in Colomé, Argentina in 2009. His solo exhibitions include Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1976); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1980); Israel Museum (1982); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1984); MAK, Vienna (1998–99); Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh (2002–03); Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany (2009–10); and Garage Centre for Contemporary Culture, Moscow (2011). lacma.org

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