June 21–September 25, 2013
James Turrell’s first exhibition in a New York museum since 1980 focuses on the artist’s groundbreaking explorations of perception, light, color, and space, with a special focus on the role of site-specificity in his practice. At its core is a major new project that recasts the Guggenheim rotunda as an enormous volume filled with shifting artificial and natural light. One of the most dramatic transformations of the museum ever conceived, the installation reimagines Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic architecture—its openness to nature, graceful curves, and magnificent sense of space—as one of Turrell’s Skyspaces, referencing in particular his magnum opus Roden Crater (1976–). Reorienting visitors’ experiences of the rotunda from above to below, the exhibition gives form to the air and light occupying the museum’s central void, proposing an entirely new experience of the building. Other works from throughout the artist’s career will be displayed in the museum’s Annex Level galleries, offering a complement and counterpoint to the new work in the rotunda. Organized in conjunction with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, James Turrell comprises one-third of a major retrospective exhibition spanning the United States during summer 2013. This exhibition is curated by Carmen Giménez, Stephen and Nan Swid Curator of Twentieth-Century Art, with Nat Trotman, Associate Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.
Rendering of installation for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 2012. Artificial and natural light. Rendering created by Andreas Tjeldflaat