James Turrell “Aten Reign” at the Guggenheim closes soon, Find your Turrell fix at MoMA PS1

Honestly, who does not love James Turrell?

Honestly, who does not love James Turrell?

September 25, 2013 marks the final day of James Turrell’s blockbuster exhibition “Aten Reign” at the Guggenheim, NYC. This exhibit was one star in Turrell’s constellation over the summer, unofficially in conjunction with the exhibition “The Light Inside” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and a permanent installation inside a Las Vegas Louis Vuitton store. The Turrell mania will slowly subside and museums will move on with winter schedules. New Yorkers’ love and infatuation with Turrell will not be as abrupt and we can ease into remission by visiting MoMA PS1 where Turrell’s “Meeting” is on view.

One reaches an apex of sublime solidarity seeing James Turell’s “Meeting”, a site-specific permanent installation that captures the aesthetic beauty of the sky. Acting as a voyeur, lounging on reclining benches in a pyramid-temple shaped room, one stares idyllically into a square oculus towards the sky. I went on a particularly scenic day, where fluffy cumulus clouds slowly drifted through the cyan blue sky. It was calming, stoic even, to stare at something so obvious to our everyday lives, yet rarely contemplated. It is uncanny, we are subsumed by a feeling we have seen this image before, yet in front of our eyes now framed into a majestic square with each point facing a cardinal direction, we do not recognize it as that ominous, overly familiar presence in our lives, but as something autonomous and enchanting. With Turrell’s installation, his objectification of the sky reifies its existence into a fetished object of aesthetic beauty. It is disconnected from its earthly context and through its disjointed perspective, transformed into a piece of art.
A MUST SEE, and I look forward to continually returning to see how the installation changes with the coming seasons.
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