Raemar Pink White

7:00 PM

James Turrell, Raemar Pink White, 1969

Bright, pink light. It blinds you, but it also draws it in. It’s like opening your eyes in the morning. It’s like a deep pink sunset. It’s the white like that peaks out from magic door #1, #2, and #3. Which one will you choose? Which door holds the bright white light of your dreams? Walking inside a James Turrell exhibit is like opening that magical door.

Raemar Pink White is a shallow space construction piece by James Turrell. For these pieces, Turrell makes small architectural modifications to create a space that is then filled with light. A shallow space construction piece is viewed from the rear of a large room which controlled lighting challenges the viewer’s depth perception.

James Turrell, the King of Light. For years Turrell has been taking viewers on a journey of self discovery as they rediscover light and their surroundings. Turrell is one of the first artists to look deeply at light and use it as a medium for art. Turrell focuses on the sensory experiences of light and “he creates opportunities for viewers to experience light as a primary physical presence rather than as a tool with which to see or render other phenomena.” By isolating light he pushes viewers to think about the properties of light itself by examining transparency, volume, and color.

I think Turrell resembles Rothko, if Rothko used light. He creates huge pieces covering walls with bold and bright colors. The colors engulf you. The colors and the light is all that you see, but you feel the movement of the light too.

I was fortunate to visit a Turrell exhibit at the LACMA in 2014, but that was before I took art history. Unfortunately, I walked through the exhibit without the knowledge to understand the genius of Turrell. But, I do not think that took away too much from the exhibit. Even without knowing Turrell’s motives as an artist, I still felt the light, movement, and color. It’s not always about understanding art, as much as feeling the art. Turrell’s works prove that art is about feeling, seeing, and learning.

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