Projection Pieces

A Turrell Projection is created by projecting a single, controlled beam of light from the opposing corner of the room. The projected light appears as a three dimensional form.

  • Tycho White, 1967
  • Gard,-Red,-1968
  • Tollyn, Red, 1968c
  • Stufe-Pink-1968
  • Photo: Sergio Martucci
  • Squat, Red, 1968
  • Photo: Pirje Mykkänen
  • Raethro, Red, 1968cropped
  • Raethro (White), 1967_lo
  • Prado, Red, 1968
  • Prado-(White)-1967s
  • Pullen,-White,-1967-s
  • PorterPowellYellow2
  • Porter Powell (White) 1967
  • Photo: Florian Holzherr
  • OndoPink
  • Juke Green 1968_s
  • Jadito Red 1968
  • Photo: Florian Holzherr
  • Fargo, Blue, 1968_1s
  • Enzu (White) 1967s
  • Decker (White) 1967_Whitneyc
  • Catso (White), 1967_lo
  • Ashby, White, 1967
  • Acro, Blue, 1968
  • Photo: Florian Holzherr
  • Carn, Red, 1968_72dpi
  • Afrum Pale Blue, 1968_Chichu
  • Afrum Pale Pink, 1968_PaceW
  • Photo: LACMA
  • Orca, Blue, 1968 at Albion in 2007
  • Orca, Blue-Red, 1969
  • Photo: Jame Turrell Studio Files
  • munson_blue_simulation
  • Photo: Sprengel Museum Hanover
  • alta_blue_1968
  • Photo: Florian Holzherr

Shallow Space Constructions

A Turrell Shallow Space is viewed from the rear of a large room. A false wall is lit from behind and appears to float. Coving the corners of the walls and controlling the light challenges the viewer’s depth perception.

  • Raemar Blue 1969_c
  • Photo: Florian Holzherr
  • Photo: Florian Holzherr
  • Rondo image at Total
  • Rayzor-1982_image-3_c

Corner Shallow Space

A Turrell Corner Shallow Space is created by removing the drywall in a predetermined shape in a convex corner. The shapes in this series are very similar to those in the Projection series. The light in this case is not projected but comes from within the wall. The effect is similar to a Projection in that the light creates the illusion of a three dimensional object.

  • Photo: Florian Holzherr
  • Photo: Florian Holzherr
  • Raethro II, Red, 1969
  • MattressFactory_RaethroII
  • HausKonstruktiv_AfrumIIRed
  • Afrum II Green, 1970


In a Turrell Wedgework, the precise use of projected light creates the illusion of walls or barriers where none exist.

  • Caper (Salmon-White), 2000
  • Photo: Florian Holzherr
  • CCC_Amana_Wedgework
  • Hallwedge_1976_C
  • Wedgework V 1974
  • SMOCA_TheHazing
  • Milk Run, 1996
  • 4 T
  • Key Lime (pi) 1997
  • Photo: Florian Holzherr
  • Frontal Passage, 1994
  • Cross Cut 1998_72dpi
  • Photo: Florian Holzherr
  • wedgework_iii_1969
  • milk_run_iii


A Turrell Veil combines the use of natural and artificial light to create a slowly changing curtain, or veil, of light. Out of view is a skylight, the source of natural light, as well as the artificial light fixtures contributing subtle shades of color.

  • Photo: Florian Holzherr

Dark Spaces

A Turrell Dark Space is an enclosed room with no seemingly perceivable light. After several minutes in darkness, the viewer’s eye will detect a faint light in the room. These works are very difficult to photograph. Viewers will exit a Dark Space work and all describe having a different experience. The concept of a Dark Space is not about what one is supposed to see but the experience of what Turrell describes as “seeing yourself see.”

Space Division Constructions

A Turrell Space Division (also called an ‘Aperture’ work) consists of a large, horizontal aperture cut into a wall. There is no glass. The aperture in a Space Division work appears to be a flat painting or an LED screen but is a light-emitting opening to a seemingly infinite, light filled room beyond.

  • CCC_Kayenta_c
  • Photo: Patrick Goetelen
  • Gap, 2001
  • Korea_Bisbee_1
  • The Last Breath-1991
  • AMBA-new-scan
  • Atlantic-Charge-1988
  • Calvin Klein High Line Event
  • Trace Elements 1991
  • Moab-Green-2001
  • Daygo, 1990_lo
  • Photo: Florian Holzherr
  • Cumo 1976_150dpi
  • Photo: Florian Holzherr
  • Photo: George Holzer
  • Caching Breath 2004_2IVAM
  • Photo: Florian Holzherr
  • acton_indianapolismuseumofart
  • dawning_1991_med_res
  • backside_of_the_moon1999_image4
  • Photo: Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus und Kunstbau, München
  • Photo: Sprengel Museum Hannover
  • twilightarch


“Ganzfeld”: a German word to describe the phenomenon of the total loss of depth perception as in the experience of a white-out. Turrell artificially creates a similar experience through the controlled use of light, coved corners and an inclined floor.

  • Photo: Florian Holzherr
  • Photo: Florian Holzherr
  • Photo: Ivar Kvaal
  • Photo: Florian Holzherr
  • City of Arhirit image 2 at Colome
  • Photo: Florian Holzherr
  • Photo: Florian Holzherr
  • Turrell.Wide.Out.98
  • Photo: Florian Holzherr
  • Pneuma-test2
  • Photo: Florian Holzherr
  • Open Field, 2000_3
  • Photographed at Pace Wildenstein
  • Photo: Florian Holzherr
  • Big Red, 2002 image2
  • Photo: Florian Holzherr
  • Photo: Florian Holzherr

Skylight Series

  • Hover, 1983a
  • Jacob's Rain, 2007 2a
  • Photo: Contemporary Art Museum Kunamoto


A Turrell Skyspace is a specifically proportioned chamber with an aperture in the ceiling open to the sky. Skyspaces can be autonomous structures or integrated into existing architecture. The aperture can be round, ovular or square.

Perceptual Cells

Turrell’s Perceptual Cells Series are enclosed, autonomous spaces built specifically for one person at a time. If the sensation of claustrophobia is psychological, can one’s perception of space (or lack of) be influenced by light?

  • Change_In_State_Kunstverein_c
  • Photo: Florian Holzherr
  • CCC_Light_Reignfall_sm
  • c_4_Holzherr 2002 MF
  • Mind-Set,-1992_Dusseldorf
  • Photo: Florian Holzherr
  • Soft Cell 1992_slide
  • header_1992cr

Architectural Light

Magnatron Series

A Turrell Magnatron consists of a small aperture in the shape of an old television sceen. As in many of Turrell’s aperture works, there is no glass, but a shape.

  • Photo: Florian Holzherr
  • Mongo The Planet, 1997
  • Kemo Sabe 2003_2
  • Beanie 2002
  • hi_test_1996

Tall Glass / Wide Glass Series

A Turrell Tall Glass or Wide Glass piece is an aperture with frosted glass. LEDs are positioned behind the glass and programmed to change slowly over the course of several hours. A glass can also be curved. Each Tall Glass or Wide Glass light program is unique.

  • Unseen Color 2005_3
  • Photo: Florian Holzherr
  • Gathered-Light-2006_1s
  • Photo: Florian Holzherr
  • third_eye_2008
  • seeing_double_2008
  • Photo: James Turrell Studio Files
  • mohl_ip_2008_image_1
  • straightflush

Crater Space

  • roden_crater_daylight
  • celestial_vault_at_stroom_2008

Tunnel Piece

  • Photo: Florian Holzherr
  • Photo: Florian Holzherr
  • Photo: Florian Holzherr
  • duececoup

Camera Obscura

  • Photo: Charles Francis

Window Series

  • Photo: Florian Holzherr


  • Photo: Kelly Akashi
  • ochilperformance2012
  • images
  • fire-tunnel-1972-at-pomona-college
  • to-be-sung-1994


  • firstlight_afrum
  • firstlight_enzu
  • firstlight_gard
  • firstlight_alta
  • firstlight_carn
  • still_light_1990_alta
  • still_light_1990_carn
  • still_light_1990_enzu
  • still_light_1990_gard
  • still_light_1990_juke
  • still_light_1990_munson
  • still_light_1990_squat
  • still_light_1990_tollyn
  • mapping_spaces_1987-88_image1
  • deep-sky-1984_image-1


  • cold-storage-1989
  • craignour-6_model
  • spread-1989cr
  • fire-inside-1989_2
  • straight-up-1989-model
  • turrell_frsqmeetingcr
  • stupa-cupid-1989cr
  • iltrs-room-scan
  • turrell_third_daycr
  • jai-singhs-sky-1990cr
  • north-moon-space_1a
  • jump-start-1990
  • turrell-modellnorthspace
  • light-reign-1
  • RC South Space model 1
  • turrell_milarepas_helmutcr
  • turrell-modellsunandmoon
  • missed_approach_scan
  • outside_in_scan
  • piz-uter-1
  • bullethead-1990
  • boullees-boule
  • santorini-openview
  • alien_exam_scan_open
  • Abduction 1989
  • 4-human-sacrifices-crater-1989


The hologram is a recording of light waves on a thin layer of transparent gelatin emulsion. In the emulsion is an image that has full parallax. In other words, it appears to have depth from every vantage point. The Turrell reflective holograms vary slightly in size but the finished product is about 18″ X 24″. The color, shape and inclination of the image is unknown until the final step of the process. Unlike traditional holograms that depict objects, the Turrell holograms aim to make a hologram of light itself.

  • h-x_2004_at_unna_2009
  • reflective_holo_page_1

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