James Turrell, Ganzfeld APANI (Venice Biennial 2011), 2011, Installation, LED, 16 x 12 x 6m, Foto: Florian Holzherr ; Courtesy Häusler Contemporary München | Zürich

James Turrell

09 June – 28 October 2018

James Turrell (born in 1943 in Los Angeles) counts among the most important artists of our time. For more than fifty years, he has devoted his creative work to the treatment of

(im-)materiality and perception. Like no other, he succeeds in making light as an artistic medium a sensual and spiritual experience. Turrell floods rooms with light that presents itself as gentle seas of color or as an intensely glowing, sometimes diffusely spherical fog of light, taking observers to the limits of their perception. Turrel eliminates the possibility of pinpointing one’s location by means of an object or spatial limits, transmitting a feeling of endlessness. Reduced to perception itself, the onlooker’s gaze almost automatically turns inwards, creating the possibility of self-awareness and self-reflection, meditatively observing one’s own seeing.

The artist himself constantly emphasizes that his work is best described as «Perceptual Art». In large-scale, atmospheric installations, he makes light materialize and leads onlookers to the limits of perception.

The comprehensive exhibition in Museum Frieder Burda combines important key works from various creative phases of James Turrell. It presents «Sloan Red» for example, one of his path-breaking early projections, in which geometric light objects appear to float in space.

A piece from 2016, from the important series of «Wedgeworks», shows how the artist creates illusionist spatial situations using light. The «ganzfeld» experiment «Apani», which attracted great attention at the Venice Biennale in 2011, allows the visitor to experience how all imaginable spatial contours can be made to dissolve in light and color. James Turrell’s long-term project «Roden Crater» is also represented at the exhibition: an extinct volcano in the Arizona desert, which the artist has been converting into a kind of observatory since the 1970s.

The comprehensive exhibition in Museum Frieder Burda offers an impressive insight into the work of James Turrell, an artist who touches audiences worldwide like no other. It also presents artworks created especially by the artist for the Museum Frieder Burda.

The exhibition is being designed in close cooperation with the artist.