“I like to use light as a material, but my medium is actually perception,” said James Turrell (b. 1943). “I want you to sense yourself sensing —to see yourself seeing.” Turrell’s exhibition at the Guggenheim in 2013 was his first solo display in New York City since the 1980’s, and he was ready to catch Manhattan’s eye. In his skyscape titled Aten Reign, the Light and Space artist transformed the museum’s iconic rotunda into an enormous oculus that could only be viewed from the ground floor. The installation emanated the full spectrum of color, hypnotically shifting from hue to hue.
“Aten Reign, a series of suspended oval armatures and sheer scrims that span the entire cavity of the building, is so overwhelming, meditative, beautiful and suited to the space that you actually forget you’re in the Guggenheim, where it’s almost architecturally impossible to do so,” wrote Times Quotidian of the work. Turrell joked that Frank Lloyd Wright might not have approved of this radical alteration of the structure’s design. His revolutionary but ephemeral artistic statement is captured in this large-scale archival pigment print. Like the masterwork it depicts, this 44-by-65-inch piece has its own gravitational pull.
Above: James Turrell.
archival pigment print
44 x 65 in.
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