Skip to main content

Pace Galleries

Cart icon

James Turrell

Large Holograms

About James Turrell

James Turrell (b. 1943, Los Angeles) uses light and indeterminate space—not objects or images—to extend and enhance perception. His work has been the subject of over 160 solo exhibitions worldwide since 1967, including the three-venue museum exhibition presented concurrently at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in 2013. In addition to permanent installations at institutions such as Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, MoMA PS1, Long Island City, New York, and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Turrell’s work can be seen in over 70 international collections. Since 1968, when Turrell received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the artist has been the recipient of numerous awards including a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (1984); Chevalier, L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France (1991); Commandeur, L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (2006); and National Medal of Arts, Washington, D.C. (2014); The School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University Medal Award (2017).

Press Release

  • James Turrell: Large Holograms
    PaceWildenstein is pleased to present its fourth solo exhibition of new work by James Turrell at 534 West 25th Street, New York City, from September 10 through October 17, 2009. James Turrell: Large Holograms features fifteen unique large-scale transmission light works measuring over 5 to 6 feet in height, all of which were made in 2007 and 2008 and are on view for the first time. The artist will be present for an opening reception on Wednesday, September 9th from 6-8 p.m. In this new work James Turrell presents the mass and physicality of light, a subject he first explored in his seminal Projection Pieces from the 1960s. Here, that physicality is generated using the optical space of dichromate reflection holograms. Holograms are traditionally used to make an illusion, where light becomes the means through which a three-dimensional object is depicted. Turrell instead uses holography to examine the phenomenon of the light itself, capturing it’s normally fleeting qualities and allowing light to become the object. James Turrell (b. 1943, Los Angeles) has been the subject of over 170 solo exhibitions worldwide since 1967. He originally joined Pace in 1968, but didn’t have his first exhibition at the gallery until 2004. Since then he has been the subject of two additional solo shows: Light Projects 1968 and Light Works 2005 and, most recently, Light Leadings (2007). In 2012, a major retrospective organized by Carmen Giménez, curator of Twentieth-Century Art at the Guggenheim Museum, and Michael Govan, director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, will open at the Guggenheim before traveling to a number of international institutions, including additional stops in the United States at LACMA and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. A comprehensive monograph featuring texts by the curators as well as other contributors will be published on the occasion of the retrospective. Two other publications will coincide with the exhibition: Richard Andrews’ book on the Roden Crater and an interactive book entitled Turrell World Tour, which features 137 works completed since 1968 in 85 public venues in 18 states and 23 countries worldwide. Turrell World Tour will function as a passport that is signed and stamped at each of the 85 destinations. Upon completing the tour, the reader will be invited as a personal guest of the artist’s to the Roden Crater. James Turrell has been transforming the Roden Crater, a natural cinder volcano situated on the southwestern edge of the Painted Desert in northern Arizona, into a large-scale artwork since 1972. The work relates to the surrounding sky, land, and culture through the medium of light. As an observatory, the Roden Crater will allow visitors to see celestial phenomena with the naked eye. Construction of the project is under the direction of Dia Art Foundation and Skystone Foundation with support from the Lannan Foundation. The Roden Crater will officially open to the public during the artist’s retrospective exhibition. On October 24th, the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany will present James Turrell: The Infinite Innerspace, A Project for Wolfsburg. The installation will remain on view through April 5, 2010. Earlier this year, on April 22, 2009, the Swiss vintner and art collector Donald M. Hess opened the world’s first museum dedicated specifically to the work of James Turrell at his winery in Colomé, Argentina. Located on the Hess Family Estates in Calchaquí Valley, the James Turrell Museum spans five decades of the artist’s career and features 22 permanent artworks. The interior galleries of the museum were designed by Turrell and provide more than 18,000 square feet of exhibition space. Other recent permanent public installations include Mohl ip, 2008, the world’s largest Tall Glass work commissioned by the Phoenix Art Museum and installed in the Great Hall, Third Breath, 2005, the first “camera obscura” type Skyspace at Zentrum für Internationale Lichtkunst, Unna Germany, and Second Wind, 2005, a Skyspace at the Fundación NMAC, Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. Two untitled Skyspaces are scheduled to open in October at Crystal Bridges Museum, Bentonville, Arkansas and in December at the National Gallery of Art, Canberra, Australia. IVAM Institut Valencià d’Art Modern in Spain mounted an important retrospective of Turrell’s work curated by Ana María Torres in December 2004. Earlier that year, James Turrell: Knowing Light, an exhibition of a 4,000 square foot Ganzfeld piece, and the inauguration of a permanent Skyspace entitled Light Reign, went on view at the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle. In addition to 39 permanent installations at institutions such as the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas; P.S. 1, Long Island City, New York; and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, James Turrell’s work can been seen in 49 international collections including: the Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California; Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main, Germany; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Panza Collection, Varese, Italy; Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Arizona; Sprengel Museum, Hanover, Germany; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. James Turrell received his first grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1968. Since then, he has been the recipient of 21 awards ranging from The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (1984) to being named a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government (1991). For six consecutive years, from 1997 to 2002, Turrell was given six various prizes and awards and three honorary doctorates from the Chicago Art Institute (1999); Claremont Graduate University, California (2001); and the Royal Academy of Art, London (2002). As of last year, the artist was awarded French Commander of Arts and Letters and the National Arts Club Artist Award, New York. James Turrell has a B.A. in psychology from Pomona College in Southern California. He attended graduate art classes at the University of California, Irvine from 1965-1966 and received an M.A. from Claremont Graduate School in 1973. The artist lives in Flagstaff, Arizona. Additional information on James Turrell: Large Holograms is available by upon request by contacting Jennifer Benz Joy at or Lauren Staub at, or by calling 212.421.3292.