ZURICH.- Häusler Contemporary
opened the new season with the eight solo exhibition of James Turrell. Selected works by Turrell document his long-time and groundbreaking artistic research on the subject of light allow us to experience it impressively in the exclusive presentation of the new work type «The Circular Glass».
Following a series of dialogical exhibitions on the subject of light, Häusler Contemporary dedicates the second half of the year to the artist who is a pioneer, luminary and benchmark in this field: James Turrell (*1943, Los Angeles, US, lives in Flagstaff, US). Since the beginning of his career, he has been exploring the various manifestations of light and its relation to our perception of the world. With his impressive walk-in installations and projects of art in architecture he inspires people from all over the world and various cultural backgrounds.
The exhibition exclusively presents an installation by James Turrell from the new series «The Circular Glass». Conceived for an everyday architectural environment, these spectacular works enable a visual and sensory experience of light as was previously reserved for larger installations by the artist. The unique pieces in this series are akin to the «Small Glass» series from 2016, which has attracted great attention from collectors and a broad public. The «Circular Glasses» too are individually programmed using the latest LED technology. Their physical structure relates to Turrell's «Shallow Space Constructions» from the late 1960s and early 1970s. With this new series, the artist continues his exploration of technological possibilities in connection with sensory practices, inviting viewers to a meditative experience.
Being long lasting supporters and promoters of James Turrell's work, the gallery complementary shows carefully selected works that demonstrate the broad spectrum of his approach, tracing a bow from his artistic beginnings up to the present day:
The rare sheets of the «First Light» series, created in 1989/90, illustrate his early projection works from 196667 and in their titles reveal their relation to space: Thus the works of the «Single-wall projection pieces» are called «Phantom» and «Fargo», the «Cross corner projection pieces» «Afrum» and «Squat», among others. These aquatint etchings were created in collaboration with the major copperplate printer Peter Kneubühler in Zurich and hence, they reveal Turrell's affinity for printing technology.
Other sensuous and atmospheric pigment prints and maps refer to the «Roden Crater», the extinct volcanic crater in the Arizona desert that Turrell has been continuously converting into something like a «celestial observatory» since the 1970s. The new «Roden Crater Site Plan», an edition of large-format inkjet blueprints, provides an idea of the current state of development of this monumental «Work in Progress», whilst bronze and plaster models illustrate on a small-scale individual «chambers» of Turrell's Opus Magnum.
The exhibition spans over fourty years of James Turrells work, from the early works to the present. It visualizes how the artist succeeds in revealing something «ordinary» ¬ the light as a breathtaking phenomenon that provides insights into one's own perception.
James Turrell has had an unparalleled international exhibition history since 1967 and has also realized projects in public space all over the world. Most recently, the Museo Jumex in Mexico City dedicated an overview exhibition to the artist in 2019/2020 with new works from the most important series. In 2013, LACMA in Los Angeles, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and the Salomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York set up three landmark museum shows for the Master of Light. Various retrospective presentations in Switzerland and Germany are currently being planned.
Almost all of worlds major institutions and collections own works by James Turrell, to name just a few: the MoMA in New York, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Israel Museum in Jerusalem and the Center for International Light Art in Unna.
Numerous art and architecture awards have been added to Turrell's biography, including the National Medal of Arts, presented in 2013 by former President Barack Obama.