American artist James Turrell was born on May 6th in 1943
Happy Birthday James Turrell!
Born in Los Angeles, Turrell obtained his pilot's license when he was sixteen.
After graduating with a degree in psychology, he enrolled in a Studio Art program at the University of California. An avid opponent of the Vietnam War, he spent a year in jail for calling for young men to avoid being drafted to the Vietnam War. He also flew Buddhist monks out of China-controlled Tibet, which he labeled as a "humanitarian mission".
Playing with both natural and artificial light, Turrell began developing his famous light installations in the mid-1960s. Working on the intimate relationship between light and space, he repurposed a number of structures, installed electrical light, and set up rooms in such a way that the viewers' gaze shifted upwards to the celestial phenomena.
His work on Rosen Crater, an extinct volcano in the Arizona desert, has been ongoing for almost forty years.
The Skyspace series is also quite important in Turrell's oeuvre. These consist in an enclosed room in which an aperture is cut in the ceiling to expose the sky above, reshaping our perception of space, by playing on perspective, visual experience, depth, physical space, three-dimensionality, color, and light.
Installation: "Elliptic Ecliptic", 1999, at the Venet Foundation, Le Muy, France, 2016