Copyright James Turrell, Photo by Florian Holzherr, Courtesy of Turrell, Pace Gallery and Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow Light Reignfall in 2011, when it was displayed in Moscow
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Renowned L.A. artist James Turrell's new retrospective at LACMA is "one of the most ambitious modern art exhibitions ever mounted in Los Angeles," said the museum's director, Michael Govan, at the press preview on Wednesday, and it certainly shows. It's full of dark rooms, colored lights and optical illusions that test what your eyes are able to achieve -- like yoga for your retina. My favorite was the work from Turrell's Ganzfeld series, where you ascend stairs into a room of white walls, enveloped in lights that slowly change from one color to another.
The show, which begins Sunday, is ambitious logistically as well, as many works limit the number of people who can enter at any time. Only four can be in the Ganzfeld piece, for instance, so the next in line stands at the bottom of the stairs, looking up at this light box, as it waiting to ascend into heaven.
The show goes until April -- three times as along as the typical LACMA exhibit of this kind -- so that everyone can get a chance to experience everything. Christine Y. Kim, LACMA's associate curator of contemporary art and co-curator of the exhibit, notes that while museum exhibits' popularity are sometimes measured by the amount of people who attend, the private nature of some of Turrell's work makes such an appraisal irrelevant.
The limited experience that is far and away the hottest ticket is a piece called Light Reignfall, mainly because it has the small capacity: one.More »