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James Turrell’s best installation works

The Drake certified artist's most awe-inspiring works of light

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Weekly updates

James Turrell has been doing his thing with light and space for a long time, well before Drake came along and slyly ripped him off (for the record, Turrell has stated that he feels extremely flattered that Drake “fucks with him”). The artist has been creating immersive and awe-inspiring works for over 50 years and is primarily interested in the multitude of ways that light can be displayed, manipulated and controlled and how this alters human perception. Viewing Turrell’s works can be disorientating, beautiful, confusing and overwhelming all at once, so it’s safe to say he’s an expert at what he does.

Having recently been commissioned by QAGOMA to create a new work on the building’s facade for their 10th birthday, the artist will soon have three permanent works in Australia, the other two at MONA in Hobart and NGA in Canberra respectively, so with new Turrell work hitting our shores soon, what better time to take a look back at the incredible creations Turrell has conjured up over the years.


01. Twilight Epiphany, 2012

Located next to the Shepherd School of Music on the Rice University campus is Turrell’s Twilight Epiphany Skyspace, part of his Skyspace series. Serving as both a place for musical performances and as a laboratory for music school students, the installation is unique due to its ability to change the colour of the light on the inside of the building to correspond to the position of the sun in the sky, making for an astounding viewing experience.

02. Space That Sees, 1992

Located in Israel, Space That Sees is another work in Turell’s Skyspace series and witnessing the shifting hues of the sky from inside the perfectly rectangular, starkly white space is said to allow viewers to experience a deeper connection with their surroundings.


03. Bridget's Bardo, 2008

Bridget’s Bardo was part of The Wolfsburg Project at the Kunstmuseum in Germany and utilises the Ganzfeld effect, a phenomenon of perception that occurs when looking at a structureless field of vision. This effect combined with the bright pink, blue, red and purple lights creates an unsettling yet visually striking viewing experience.

04. Afrum (White), 1966

One of Turrell’s early works, Afrum was an indication of what the artist was capable of when toying with light. In the work, two projected beams of light came together to form what looked like a floating white cube, a technique he would employ frequently throughout the course of his career. It’s located at The Guggenheim in New York City.


05. Aten Reign, 2013

Originally conceived for the Guggenheim Museum in New York, Aten Reign saw the artist recreating the Frank Lloyd Wright designed building through the the use of artificial and natural light, turning the space into a huge illuminated void.


06. Akhob, 2013

Akhob is a Louis Vuitton commissioned installation, and is probably one of the more unexpected ways to experience Turrell’s world of light. The viewers experience a vibrant shifting palette of electric blues, vibrant pinks and oranges as the walls of the two chambers bleed in an out of view due to the disorientating use of colour.

To see the installation you have to head to a Louis Vuitton store off Las Vegas Boulevard and find the work secreted away in a back room.