Art comes in many varying shapes, colors, sizes, and dimensions. The Light and Space Art Movement began in the 1960’s originating in Southern California. This movement, influenced by painter John McLaughlin, was in relation to multiple art forms including minimalism, optical art, and geometric abstraction. This art form focuses on natural and artificial light, volume, and scale along with the use of materials such as fluorescent lights, neon, glass, cast acrylic, and resin. All of these combined form instillations adapting to its surroundings.
Although McLaughlin was a major influence in the movement and a pioneer in minimalism and hard-edge painting, the Light and Space Movement was spread worldwide by James Turrell. Turrell began experimenting with light in his Santa Monica studio in 1966. He would create light projections by covering the windows in the studio and only allowing precise amounts of light to come through the openings. His first solo show was in 1967 at the Pasadena Art Museum. Over the years, he has had solo exhibitions around the world in Israel, Australia, Amsterdam, Vienna, Pittsburgh, New York, and Los Angeles.
Exhibitions in most recent years include a retrospective at the Academy Art Museum in Maryland, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the Guggenheim Museum in New York, and at LACMA in Los Angeles. The retrospective at LACMA explored Turrell’s work with geometric light projections, two-dimensional work with holograms, shallow spaces, dark spaces, and various fields of colored light. It was a tranquil experience getting lost and completely indulged in his fascinating work.
Turrell also has a permanent exhibit inside the Louis Vuitton store at CityCenter in Las Vegas known as “Akhob” which can only be visited by making a reservation since they have a limit on the number of guests that can visit at a time to truly enjoy and enhance the experience. His colorful work can also be seen throughout various parts of the CityCenter at all times as one walks around exploring the beautiful and artistic vicinity. Turrell’s current work in progress is Roden Crater which is a natural cinder cone crater located outside Flagstaff, Arizona that will turn into a naked-eye observatory.
For more information on the work of James Turrell, visit jamesturrell.com.