“We don’t normally look at light, we’re generally looking at something light reveals.” J Turrell
James Turrell is an artist.
He doesn’t work with paint, or clay or marble or cloth… but his exhibition at LACMA moved me more than any art exhibit I’ve ever seen.
If you told me I could never go to another gallery… I’d be upset, but I could live with it having seen this.
Honestly it’s that good.
We arrived a little early so played in Chris Burden’s Urban Light sculpture outside before going in.
Finally our hour had arrived and we stepped gingerly onto the escalator to heaven.
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Tickets are timed, so entry is staggered and you wont be bugged by too many people.
It’s best to go first thing in the morning to get the real, un-hampered experience.
The first room is filled with sketches, prints & plans.
Then you go through into a series of rooms, each more breathtaking than the last.
This pink room is amazing.
You sit on a bench at the end of the room and take it all in. Slowly the light changes from bright bright pink to a pale, whitish pink as it looks like it’s fading away.
The light in fact hasn’t changed at all, your perception of it has. Your eyes have adjusted.
If you look out to the white corridors you walked in through, they’re now a dark green and your skin is umpa-loompa orange!
In the next room there are more plans, explanations, books & a video…
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The next room is filled with this enormous hologram that takes up an entire wall.
I wont show you every room, because I don’t want to spoil it.
So let’s move on to the second part of the exhibit, in a building just across the way.
Here you learn all about his incredible Roden Crater project. The room is filled with huge models, plans & 3D landscapes.
The final room is “Breathing Light” a white cave of slowly changing light.
You have to remove your shoes & slip into paper booties for this one…
Before climbing the imposing stairs to meet your guide.
You get to stay in here with a handful of other guests for 8 minutes, but it seems like a lifetime.
The light changes around you and you quite literally feel like you’re breathing it in and floating within the space.
We left totally relaxed and in awe of the whole experience.
There are two other parts of the exhibit which we couldn’t visit; “The Perceptual Cell” & “Dark Matters”. Both are said to be life-changingly incredible experiences, which is why they’re sold out until next April, when the exhibit closes.
If you can get to LACMA, then you should.
The James Turrell show is inexplicably brilliant and you should see it if you can.