James Turrell is undoubtedly one of the most influential artist of the past fifty years challenging for more than three decades the way we perceive space focusing on his explorations of perception, light, colour, and of course space.

“I make spaces that apprehend light for our perception, and in some ways gather it, or seem to hold it…my work is more about your seeing than it is about my seeing, although it is a product of my seeing.” — James Turrell

James Turrell: Prints and Process, is an exhibition of the artist’s first woodcut prints, Suite from Aten Reign at Pace Prints Gallery in NYC based on his 2013 Aten Reign at the Guggenheim Museum. Suite from Aten Reign is comprised of three Ukiyo-e woodcuts, created by master printer Yasu Shibata with assistance from Justin Israels at the Pace Editions Ink Workshop. In addition to the three Aten Reign woodcuts, the exhibition includes six blocks and six proofs employed in making the suite.

From the press release:

“The triumphant job of the printers here is to get the sense of light and color that comes out of the paper like it does with the light,” says Turrell. In order to achieve this effect, Shibata contrasts an oil-based background with water-based ink, resulting in a vibrating light that is typical of Turrell’s work and nearly impossible to capture photographically. The ovals are hand carved and printed in shades of blue, green and red. The technical challenges of the project required an oversized roller to create the background gradients. Each image was realized using 14 colors, 12 woodblocks and one metal plate.

James Turrell was born in Los Angeles in 1943. He studied psychology and mathematics at Pomona College before receiving his MFA from Claremont Graduate University, becoming a key figure in the Southern California Light and Space movement of the 1960s and 70s. His work centers around the manipulation of light, from projections and sensory deprivation to color fields and site-specific interventions. Turrell is the recipient of numerous awards, including The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 1984 and the 2013 National Medal of Arts and has had major retrospectives in museums including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

James Turrell: Prints and Process will be on view September 11—October 18, 2014 at Pace Prints, 32 E. 57th Street.

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Author: Fran

Founder and editor of Urbanite. Street Art lover who after the finishing her MA thesis on the muralist movement in the 1920-50s, developed a fascination for street art and graffiti that eventually led to collaborations with different art blogs, including the creation of this one.