Visibilization – (apropos color)

I have been studying color lately, blue has been my main focus, but of course one can not study a color in isolation

This summer New York’s Guggenheim Museum is presenting an exhibition I would have loved to visit, a solo exhibition by James Turrell – all about color, and light. Turrell’s installation, Aten Reign, transforms the conical interior of the iconic Frank Lloyd Wright building into a slowly pulsating color chamber.

James Turrell: Rendering for Aten Reign, 2013.

Daylight and LED light. Site-specific installation, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. © James Turrell. Rendering: Andreas Tjeldflaat, 2012

As I understand it, the title ATEN REIGN, must be referring to the ancient Egyptian god of the sun – creator of man. Just like the sun, Aten was born again each day, he nurtured the earth and everything living with his rays. Aten was depicted as a sun-disk with rays falling upon the Earth.

This is Turrell’s own words on the project:

Aten Reign is about seeing light as we know it but don’t see it very often with the eyes open … In some way, it reminds us that we have this other way of seeing.

James Turrell quote

Imaginative seeing – seeing from the inside! Oh là là; its poetry in my ears – and eyes …


James Turrell (born 1943) American.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. KM Huber says:

    I, too, enjoy Gwarlingo, and indicative of the quality of its posts is your essay, Sigrun, and I am glad to have found it for I have wondered about its existence, a lot. It was a pleasure to read. Like Turrell, I am interested in “the point where imaginative seeing and outside seeing meet,” for I suspect they do but then, I am rather partial to “acting otherwise.” Lovely posts, both here and there.


    1. Sigrun says:

      Thank you so very much Karen!

  2. Rio says:

    Seeing is limited and to varying degrees, understanding can be also. What arises within awareness also includes oneself. This is how there is no outside, no inside. “Imaginative seeing” if intended to mean expansive, inclusive, rather than delusional, is the natural state of awareness.

  3. I stumbled onto Turrell’s work late in his career, about five years ago, by walking into a gallery showing some of his early work. Fascinating, but the new works (as described in the recent Sunday NY Times magazine article) sound amazing. I don’t know if I’ll be able to get to the Guggenheim while the show’s up, but–WOW!

    1. Sigrun says:

      I am sure I will not get to see the Guggeheim show – but I have been there twice before, and so I just have to try to imagine what its like. I’m sure its wonderful!


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