Wikipedia entry
James Turrell (born May 6, 1943) is an American artist known for his work within the Light and Space movement. He is considered the "master of light" often creating art installations that mix natural light with artificial color through openings in ceilings thereby transforming internal spaces by ever shifting and changing color. Much of Turrell's career has been devoted to a still-unfinished work, Roden Crater, a natural cinder cone crater located outside Flagstaff, Arizona, that he is turning into a massive naked-eye observatory; and for his series of skyspaces, enclosed spaces that frame the sky. Turrell was a MacArthur Fellow in 1984.
Information from Wikipedia, made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License
Getty record
Turrell's work deals predominantly with creating spaces that challenge both the viewer's physical and psychological perception of the world, often using lighting with fixed durations or concealed light, empty space, silence, and darkness. He studied psychology and mathematics at Pomona College in Claremont California from 1962-1965, and took a course in fine art at the University of California, Irvine from 1965-1966. His first works were set up in studio or exhibition spaces, where he created geometric shapes on bare walls using cross-projected halogen lights. Many of his works were to reach beyond the gallery, and in 1977 he purchased the Roden Crater, and extinct volcano in Flagstaff, Arizona. Scheduled to be completed in 2002, the work will lead the viewer inside the crater and through a series of walkways and staircases to rooms that feature different ways to view the crater and sky above, emphasizing, the space, stillness, and silence of nature.
Artist, Environmental Artist, Installation Artist, Painter, Sculptor
James Turrell, James Archie Turrell
Information from Getty’s Union List of Artist Names ® (ULAN), made available under the ODC Attribution License


29 works online



If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].