James Turrell (born 1943) in Los Angeles, CA, to Quaker parents. When he was 16 years old, Turrell earned a pilot’s licence, and he went on to fly supplies to mine sites in remote areas. He earned a BA in Psychology from Pomona College in 1965, and went on to obtain an MA in Art from Claremont Graduate School.


Turrell is known to be primarily concerned with space and light in his work. In 1966, the artist began to experiment with light at the Mendota Hotel. During this time period, a Light and Space group of Los Angeles artists was beginning to rise to fame. This group included artists such as Doug Wheeler and Robert Irwin. Turrell has received various prestigious honors throughout his career. In 1974, the artist was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship, and in 1991, he was honored with the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in France.


Turrell has exhibited at Gagosian Gallery, in London, UK, MoMA PS1, in New York, NY, Museum für Moderne Kunst, in Frankfurt, Germany, and more. The artist currently lives and works in Flagstaff, AZ.


related works

  • Turrell’s partner, Kyung Lim-Lee, captures the subtleties of light and atmosphere in her ambient painted works of abstract spherical bodies. View her work.
  • Environmental artist Olafur Eliasson creates large-scale installation works that boldly involve the audience and persuade them to reimagine the world. View his work.