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Weekend with Turrell by Nonya Grenader, FAIA

For me, it’s using light as a material to influence or affect the medium of perception. I feel that I want to use light as this wonderful and magic elixir that we drink as vitamin D through the skin — and, I mean, we are literally light-eaters — to then affect the way that we see.— James Turrell (Interview with Michael Govan, 2012)

rtist James Turrell began experimenting with light as a medium in the 1960s, and since then, he has created site-specific installations in 25 countries. His innovative studies in manipulating light have been

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PHOTO COURTESY MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, HOUSTON.

Houston is the location of three permanent installations by the artist. Each yields distinctly different effects, yet they are profoundly connected by the artist’s immersive exploration of light. informed by interests that span art, science, and religion. Turrell received a degree in perceptual psychology from Pomona College, in Claremont, Calif., and as a pilot and a rancher, he has formed strong relationships with sky and land. Though Turrell often works outside of cities, Houston is the location of three permanent installations by the artist. Each yields distinctly different effects, yet they are profoundly connected by the artist’s immersive exploration of light. In a statement to Hilarie M. Sheets of The New York Times in March of this year, Turrell commented, “I’m interested that light has thingness in itself.” A leisurely weekend in Houston affords the opportunity to experience the Turrell installations in full.

7/8 2013

Texas Architect 35

Texas Architect July/August 2013: Light  

Sketches that bring sunlight and moonlight into spaces in creative, playful ways; otherworldly experiments in color centered on the early mo...

Texas Architect July/August 2013: Light  

Sketches that bring sunlight and moonlight into spaces in creative, playful ways; otherworldly experiments in color centered on the early mo...