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James Turrell in "Spirituality"

The final segment in Spirituality features James Turrell, known for his use of light as the primary material in his work. From his Quaker Meeting House to his Roden Crater project, the artist has devoted his life to capturing the ethereal properties of light and its powers to evoke transcendence and the sublime. Pursuing his vision at a great sacrifice, Turrell wryly comments “People often ask me how much this crater costs. It cost me two marriages and a relationship.”

This segment focuses on two new works in Houston, Texas—an underground tunnel of light and a skyspace in the ceiling of a Friends meetinghouse—in addition to Turrell’s life’s work in Arizona’s remote Painted Desert—Roden Crater.

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Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

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James Turrell

James Turrell’s explorations in light and space impact the eye, body, and mind with the force of a spiritual awakening. Informed by his studies in perceptual psychology and optical illusions, Turrell’s work allows us to see ourselves “seeing.” Whether harnessing the light at sunset or transforming the glow of a television set into a fluctuating portal, Turrell’s art places viewers in a realm of pure experience. His fascination with the phenomena of light is ultimately connected to a very personal, inward search for mankind’s place in the universe. Influenced by his Quaker faith, Turrell’s art prompts greater self-awareness through a similar discipline of silent contemplation, patience, and meditation.

Light

2:35
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4:25
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Diana Thater

James Turrell discusses his ongoing land art piece, Roden Crater, created within a pit formed by an extinct volcano in the Arizona desert.

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