One of the most famous contemporary creators of installation art, James Turrell, has contributed to the evolution of the genre extensively. He cemented his image of an innovator in the realm of installation art by exploring the way in which lighting can alter the perception of space, thus introducing the interaction of the two concepts in his artworks (Jakubov 2015; Shin & Yoo 2015). Coining the term ”skyspace” (Corcoran 2015), Turrell has altered the realm of installation art by connecting the two items that used to be seen as static in a dynamic state, thus allowing people to see space as an artwork.
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When considering the aspects of Turrell’s artworks that make him particularly innovative, one should mention the focus on height and the role that it plays in the overall dynamics of an art piece. Turrell literally adds another dimension to his artworks by shifting the audience’s attention to the role that height plays in his art pieces. Turrell started experimenting with the idea of skyscrapers in the 1970s and has been experimenting with the opportunities for developing depth that height provides. His Deer Shelter (see Fig. 1) is a particularly peculiar specimen of rearranging space to create the illusion of “diffused light” (‘James Turrell: Deer Shelter Skyspace’ n.d.), thus inviting the audience to enter the realm of an entirely different visual experience.
By using lighting cleverly to juxtapose it to space, as well as create a tangible connection between the two notions, Turrell has managed to become a pioneer in exploring an entirely new area of art. Turrell pushed the boundaries of the concept of “installation art” by placing emphasis on changes in the perspective. Furthermore, his experiments with light and shade allowed him to push the boundaries of the genre and create unique experiences for the audience. Being an aspiring innovator and an outstanding artist, Turrell continues to fascinate with his art pieces.
Corcoran, KG 2015, Seeing the light: James Turrell unveils new work at Kayne Griffin Corcoran in LA. Web.
Jakubov, E 2015, The poetics of installation art, Eesti Kunstiakadeemia, Beverley Carpenter, MA. Web.
James Turrell: Deer Shelter Skyspace n.d. Web.
Shin, E & Yoo, H 2015, ‘Study on Immersive Installation that use interactive media technology’, International Journal of Multimedia and Ubiquitous Engineering, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 405-412. Web.