James Turrell accomplishes something magical: He puts you right inside his work. One could also argue that he puts his work right into the minds of his viewers using light, architecture and design. He does that to such a degree, that one starts to believe that light is something you can physically touch. Of course, light is always essential when it comes to visual art but Turrell’s “perceptual art” is special. Light is known by scientists to be either wave or particle, however, with Turrell it becomes a sculpture.
This summer, German mega collector Frieder Burda exhibits an impressive collection of Turrell’s large installations and graphics covering several phases of the artist’s work. Some spectacular pieces are loans from Häusler Contemporary Zurich among others. One piece that could not be shipped is mind-blowing, Roden Crater is an extinguished vulcano in Arizona turned into a natural cinema. It was in the 70’s when Turrell built a unique observation chamber right in the middle of the geological formation that allows visitors to look at a designed fraction of sky. The idea draws from the Roman Pantheon and other antique buildings that brought the sky closer to earth.