I just had to go experience this one in a lifetime installation. At the Guggenheim Museum. Impeccably installed, the exhibition contains, in addition to “Aten Reign,” four earlier installation pieces that are just enough to summarize Mr. Turrell’s single-minded trajectory. Since the 1960s, James Turrell has created an expansive body of work that offers profound revelations about perception and the materiality of light. With their refined formal language and quiet, almost reverential atmospheres, his installations celebrate the optical and emotional effects of luminosity. This exhibition, Turrell’s first solopresentation in a New York museum since 1980, considers the dominant themes explored by the artist for nearly fifty years, focusing on his explorations of perception, light, color, and space and the critical role of site specificity in his practice.
This artist often says that light and space are his materials. During a cycle lasting about 60 minutes, “Aten Reign” moves seamlessly and seductively across the color spectrum in slightly saccharin, related shades: mini-spectrums of violet, orange, red, blue, green and a bit too much pink. As it progresses, you’ll be stunned by the ever-shifting variety of these colors.