On my way to the PopTech conference at BAM, I made sure I got into the Guggenheim with ample time to take in James Turrell's installations that are part of a 3-museum retrospective recently announced in the New York Times. Kudos to Joanna Hess for alerting me to this amazing show.
Here is a list of adjectives that -- together -- may begin to describe the experience: outstanding, mindbending, intense, trippy, puzzling, mysterious, uncanny, pleasing (at times), eerie (other times), pensive, meditative, pulsating, vibrating, disorienting, and there could be many more... but you get the gist.
The man is intense, to say the least, and I can only hope that I can somehow get into his "crater" emerging from the high desert near Flagstaff (I think I know how). I resolutely plan to take in the LA and Houston shows as well. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I won't let distance get in my way. I even bought the catalog -- which I never do --and I don't even own a coffee table.
What's surprising is that I never heard of this genius. And neither has Steve Guerin, despite the obvious kinship when it comes to projected/reflected light, and notwithstanding the uncanny visage resemblance, now that Steve has grown a big beard (à la Turrell, one may say).
I surreptitiously took a video to try and capture the shifting ganzfeld effects. Doesn't do it justice, but perhaps it hints at what Turrel's art is all about. It's definitely one of those you have to see it to believe it experiences, so go to NYC, Houston or LA if you have a chance.
I know I will...