Trace Elements, Light into Space

Trace Elements, Light into Space

1991
Artist
James Turrell, American, 1943-
Born: Los Angeles, CA
Work Locations: Arizona
Country
United States
installation, light
Light installation
Funds from NBT Foundation in Honor of Dianne Perry Vanderlip
1994.4

James Turrell
Trace Elements, Light into Space, 1991
Light installation
Funds from NBT Foundation in Honor of Dianne Perry Vanderlip, 1994.4

Dimensions
height: 12 in, 30.4800 cm; width: 10 1/8 in, 25.7175 cm
Department
Modern and Contemporary Art
Collection
Modern and Contemporary Art
Central to James Turrell's work is the subject of light. He "sculpts" light, as if it were a medium like clay or wood. Through his studies of optics and experience as a pilot, Turrell has come to understand how light inhabits space and how we perceive atmosphere. "Trace Elements" is an especially subtle variation of Turrell's indoor light-saturated installations. The viewer's first impression, upon entering a darkened room, is of nothingness. Then, as one's eyes adjust to the gloom, a luminous membrane emerges on the far wall. In time, its edges grow crisp, and blushes of color rise into the illuminated space. The atmosphere is both palpable and infinite and compel the viewer to approach--and attempt to touch--the light itself.

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