Häusler Contemporary

James Turrell at Art Basel | Unlimited

James Turrell at Art Basel | Unlimited

James Turrell, »Wedgework«, 2016
Art Basel | Unlimited | June 16 – 19, 2016 | booth U65
Galería OMR, Mexico City, in collaboration with Häusler Contemporary München | Zürich

At this year’s Art Unlimited, internationally renowned artist James Turrell presents a new piece from his spectacular »Wedgework« series that provides viewers with the experience of a seemingly physical manifestation of light.

Visitors find themselves standing in a gloomy room that is divided at half-length by a shimmery veil – so it seems. Beyond this veil that actually is made of a projected light, one can perceive a mystically glowing oblique wedge that fills the far end of the space. While the front wall of the wedge is transparent, outlined by shiny contours, the back wall appears as a dense plane of light. Somehow, as the light goes from left to right, it changes from opaque to permeable, from thick to thin, getting whiter as it goes.

Essentially, the work is based in a special manipulation derived from James Turrell’s early »Shallow Space Constructions«. A »Wedgework« consists of a series of projections that create shimmering colors and play across the apparent surface of a light division. These figments of light collectively resemble abstract paintings or the pages of a book. They are arranged at oblique angles within yet another one of Turrell’s theatrical spaces of indeterminate extent.

The artist says: »I like to accord light the ‘thingness’ that it should have. Generally, we look at light as a form of revelation of something and are interested in light as a revelation. Rather than illuminating other things, I’m interested in light’s thingness, its object-making, thing-making kind of ability«. In his »Wedgework« installations, by precise use of projected light, he succeeds in making light appear as a ‘thing’. He creates the illusion of walls and barriers where none exist. The artist thus introduces us to »a place where the imaginative seeing and the seeing of the external world meet, where it is difficult to distinguish the seeing from within from the seeing from without«. With this installation, James Turrell again proves to be a manufacturer of waking dreams.

Installation with generous support from

Photo: Florian Holzherr