This definitive book illuminates the origins and motivations of James Turrell’s incredibly diverse and exciting body of work—from his Mendota studio days to his monumental work-in-progress Roden Crater. Whether projecting shapes on a flat wall or into the corner of a gallery space, Turrell is perpetually asking us to “go inside and greet the light”—evoking his Quaker upbringing. In fact, all of Turrell’s work has been influenced by his life experiences with aviation, science and psychology, and as a key player in Los Angeles’s exploding art scene of the 1960s. Enhanced by thoughtful essays and an illuminating interview with the artist, this monograph explores every aspect of Turrell’s career—from his early geometric light projections, prints and drawings, through his installations exploring sensory deprivation and seemingly unmodulated fields of colored light, to two-dimensional experiments with holograms. It also features an in-depth look at Roden Crater, a site-specific intervention into the landscape near Flagstaff, Arizona, which is presented through models, plans, photographs and drawings. Fans of this highly influential artist will find much to savor in this wide-ranging and beautiful book, featuring specially commissioned photography by Florian Holzherr.
As an undergraduate, James Turrell (born 1943) studied psychology and mathematics, transitioning to art only at MFA level. The recipient of several prestigious awards, including Guggenheim and MacArthur fellowships, Turrell lives in Arizona.