James Turrell - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Saturday, June 28, 2008 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist

  • Catalogue Essay

    The question about light. First of all, I would like to say that there never is no light - the same way you can go into an anechoic chamber that takes away all sound and you find that there never really is silence because you hear yourself. With light it is much the same - we have that contact to the light within, a contact that we often forget about until we have a lucid dream. Asking ourselves where the light in the lucid dream comes from gets us near to these thoughts about the power of light. This power has, first of all, power in its physical presence. I like to bring light to the place that is much like that in the dream - where you feel it to be some thing itself, not something with which you illuminate other things, but a celebration of the thinness of light, the material presence, and the revelation of light itself. This is something that allows light live more than the forming of it. A lot of the learning to work with light, since it doesn't form by working with the hands as clay does, is this working with light through thought. There is an architecture of thought, the structuring of logic, of thinking, of the space of thought, and that is the province of architecture as much as building these buildings that we work in and use in a very pragmatic sense. Music structures this as well, as do certain things in art.(Esa Laaksonen in conversation with James Turrell, taken from ARK – The Finnish Architectural Review, 1996)
    For over three decades American artist James Turrell has been working with light and indeterminate space staying away from manifestation through and with objects or images. His light projections are subtle psychological experiences; perceptions are created within a space where the senses are stripped of their regular balance and the focus on light becomes heightened. Objectivity is gained by being once removed. As you plumb a space with vision, it is possible to ‘see yourself see' just as your consciousness becomes softened and sight becomes far more delicate. Through his careful installations and manipulations to create an environment, Turrell achieves to mark a space and impact it upon us with his sensibility to make us experience light in a completely different manner.


Prado Red, 1968

Light Projection installation comprised of Xenon projector charged to MRI wire.
Dimensions variable.
This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.

£150,000 - 200,000 

Sold for £121,250

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

29 June 2008, 5pm