James Turrell: The Light Inside from Museum of Fine Arts, Houston on Vimeo.
James Turrell: The Light Inside explores the remarkable career of James Turrell (born 1943). Raised in a Quaker household and coming of age in the radical climate of the 1960s, Turrell has created some of the most beautiful art of our time, treating light as a material presence in perfectly calculated installations. Viewers are invited to investigate the margins of perception, to measure the passage of time, and—in the artist’s words—“to enter the light.”
This exhibition features seven immersive light environments, ranging from Turrell’s first projections of the late 1960s to his most recent Tall Glass series of 2010–13, as well as three print portfolios and site plans relating to Roden Crater. All are from the collection of the MFAH, and most are being created for the first time for this exhibition. Also on view is The Light Inside, the Museum’s beloved light tunnel, commissioned by Isabel B. and Wallace S. Wilson to connect the Caroline Wiess Law Building with the Audrey Jones Beck Building.
About the artist
Born in Los Angeles in 1943 to a Quaker mother and a father who was a school administrator, James Turrell attended Pomona College, where his studies concentrated on psychology and mathematics. He later received a master's degree in Art from Claremont Graduate School. Turrell’s work has been widely acclaimed and exhibited since his first showing at the Pasadena Art Museum in 1967, which established him as a leader in the nascent Light and Space Movement in Southern California. His work has since been presented at major venues including the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1976); the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1980); the Israel Museum (1982); the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1984); MAK, Vienna (1998–99); the Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh (2002–03); and the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany (2009–10); and was included in the 54th Venice Biennale (2011). In addition to the exhibitions at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in summer 2013, Turrell’s art is on view in a solo exhibition at the Academy Art Museum, Easton, Maryland. The artist’s work is represented in numerous public collections including the Tate Modern, London; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and the Israel Museum, Jerusalem. Turrell has created more than seventy Skyspaces in the Americas, Europe, and Asia, with the first made in 1974 for Count Giuseppe Panza di Biumo at his home in Varese, Italy.