Plants, Stone, California Landscapes


James Turrell Skyspace

Happy Solstice everyone. This seems somewhat solstice-appropriate. While I was working on my friend’s project in San Francisco, I went by the James Turrell skyspace at the De Young several times. Titled Three Gems, it’s a little dome with a hole in the roof for viewing the sky. The acoustics are very cool and, after you sit for a while, the blue sky showing through the aperture seems just as much a physical thing as the concrete roof.

The feeling of the space, staring up at the sky, reminds me of the giant Cor-ten double-moebius by Richard Serra that I posted about a couple of years ago. There’s a nice photo on the De Young site that shows the aperture, the circle of cast light, the doorway, and the stone circle in the center of the space all together in a single photo without too much lens distortion, but I also like the simple flattened image of the aperture when it is stripped of context. It feels quite abstract and flattened in person, too, after you stare up at it for a while.

A great long article about Turrell.

3 Responses to “James Turrell Skyspace”

  1. January 4th, 2014 at 6:29 am

    Country Mouse says:

    Very cool – I was just there yesterday for the Hockney exhibit – which I really enjoyed – and wish I had read your post before I went. Next time…

  2. February 21st, 2014 at 11:31 pm

    James says:

    Very very cool for sure! The LA County Museum has a long-term show of his that finally closes in April. A lot of it was very tech-intense, lots of lights shifting color over long time spans, but the natural-light pieces of his are my favorites. I hope to make it up to check this space out!

  3. March 3rd, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    ryan says:

    Country Mouse, it’s permanent so ti’ll be there the next time. I’m a regular visitor to it, any time I’m near the museum I try to stop by.

    James, I’d like to see the LACMA show, but I’m not going to be in the area while it’s happening, alas.

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