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James Turrell

"I'm interested in the light that we see, but also the light that we don't see."

American b. 1843

Biography of James Turrell 

James Turrell, born in 1943 in Los Angeles, is an American artist renowned for his work with light and perception. His artistic journey began with a unique background. Raised in a Quaker household, he was instilled with the concept of inner light. His father, an aeronautical engineer, fueled his fascination with the sky, which he explored further by getting his pilot's license at 16.

Turrell's academic path initially led him to Pomona College, where he studied experimental psychology, including the Ganzfeld effect (sensory deprivation). This interest in perception would become a cornerstone of his art. He eventually transitioned to art, earning a Master's degree from Claremont Graduate School.

Turrell is considered a pioneer of the Light and Space movement. His signature works manipulate light and space to create immersive experiences. Skyspaces, enclosed rooms with openings to the sky, are a prime example. Perhaps his most ambitious project is Roden Crater, an extinct volcano he's transforming into a naked-eye observatory, a testament to his lifelong fascination with light and the cosmos.

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