Circle Jerk, Medium Circle Glass, 2018

For over half a century, the American artist James Turrell has worked directly with light and space to create artworks that explore the limits and wonder of human perception. Turrell considers the sky as his studio, material and canvas. New Yorker critic Calvin Tompkins writes, “His work is not about light, or a record of light; it is light — the physical presence of light made manifest in sensory form.”

Turell is a leading member of the 'Light and space movement' that originated in California in the 1960s. Along with the other members of this group, Turrell moved away from the classicals ideals of art in favour of an active and multi-sensorial experience. The aesthetic and concept of his work arose from an intersection of new technology and a sense of spirituality. Turrell explored new materials that were afforded to him as a result of technological advances in the aeronautical industry.

Turrell was well-immersed in the aeronautics and aviation industry at a very early age and obtained his pilot’s license at age sixteen. Flying had an immense influence on his experience of space, light, colour, and perception. In his work, Turrell sought to dematerialize art as an object and instead create a transcendental experience that is unique for each observer of his work.

Circle Jerk, Medium Circle Glass is an etched-glass and LED light installation embedded into the surface of the wall. The expansive and seemingly hovering installation features a lens in which hundreds of vivid combinations of colours seep into each other as they slowly shift over time. The work creates an ever-changing light-filled environment and a place for mediation, introspection and awe.