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Published on Nov 25, 2009
The primary medium of Californian artist James Turrell is light. Probably the best-known artist in his field, Turrell's entire oeuvre since the 1960s has been devoted to exploring the diverse manifestations of this immaterial medium and working towards a new, space-defining form of light art. While light here refers to nothing beyond itself, it causes surface, colour and space to interact and allows viewers to immerse themselves in a mysterious, painterly world. Occupying a central place in James Turrell's oeuvre is the Roden Crater, an extinct volcano in the Arizona desert which the artist has been transforming into an observatory since 1974. Building upon the cosmic aspects of this quiet, meditative place, Turrell is creating the worldwide largest museum installation he has made to date at the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, producing a light-filled space of experience in the tradition of his Ganzfeld Pieces. Making full use of the adaptable architecture system of the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg - unique within the German museum landscape - his installation will be an exploration of space and light: immaterial and material at once. The timelessness and fascination of James Turrell's works derives from his incredible skill at capturing fleeting light and giving it the visual presence and tactile density of a physical body.