Museum Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden
– 28 October 2018
James Turrell himself describes his art as “Perceptual Art”, and works mainly with the medium of light. Some of his most important artistic works are now on display in the Frieder Burda Museum.
All around the world, Turrell creates spaces that are flooded with light, in which geometric light bodies seem to float in space, and whose contours sometimes dissolve completely in the light, so that the perception, which helps people to orientate themselves within the space, reaches its limits. With his works, Turrell wants to make light “sensual and spiritual to experience” and plays with various types of light art: projections that create an illusion of walls and boundaries; natural light that floats in space like a constantly changing curtain; holograms, LEDs and light tunnels. The light is sometimes soft, sometimes harsh, colourful or natural, separated from the rest of the room or possessing it. The artist gives light a presence and provides it with the illusion of mass. With his perception-changing light projects, he also wants to draw the viewer’s attention to his own viewing behaviour and make him engage in self-reflection.
The exhibition, which was created in close co-operation with the artist, displays both older and current projects. On show is the 1968 project “Sloan Red”, in which geometric forms of light float weightlessly in space, and “Ganzfeld”, first shown in 2011 at the Venice Biennale, in which the room appears to be boundless through constantly changing light interacting with colour. There are also exclusive pictures of Turrell’s long-term project “Roden Crater”, a volcanic crater with underground chambers and corridors in the Arizona desert from which he builds a kind of sky observatory allowing you to see the sky and the light at all times of the day in all its aspects.