James Turrell’s recent Constellation works, the focal point of this exhibition, are the culmination of Turrell's lifelong pursuit. Generating what the artist has called “spaces within space,” these luminous portals are instruments for altering our perception; gazing into them results in the slow dissolution of the boundaries of the surrounding room, enveloping the viewer in the radiance of pure color. Fusing the temporal, sensuous, and illusory qualities of his projection works and architectural installations, the Constellations synthesize several aspects of Turrell’s practice. Unlike his early projection pieces, however, they are not about generating an illusion; instead, they greet the viewer with the actual materiality of light, what Turrell calls “the physical manifestation of light, which we have trained our eyes too readily to look through rather than to look at.”
Presented in site-specific chambers, the works feature elliptical and circular shapes with a frosted glass surface animated by an array of technically advanced LED lights, which are mounted to a wall and generated by computer programming. The light changes are subtle and hypnotic, one colour morphing into the next. The programme runs on a loop that is imperceptible to the viewer, prompting a transcendental experience.