Website Articles

Light Craft: Art and Architecture Merge at Rice

Anchoring the western end of Rice University's main quad in Houston, James Turrell's new 118-foot-square Skyspace emerges from the earth in front of the monolithic Shepherd School of Music. “This is architecture that light and space makes,” explains the artist. When the sun illuminates the atmosphere, you can't see through it to view the stars that are there, he points out. “Light not only reveals, it also obscures—so you can actually build a space with it. I use light and architecture in that way: to limit space and to reveal it, either way.”

July 23, 2012

Turrell Skyspace Opens in June at Rice University

The Skyspace, by visionary American artist James Turrell with Thomas Phifer (Thomas Phifer and Partners architects), opens in mid June on the Rice University campus, giving Houston its third major piece by Turrell. Shunning the physicality of paint and sculpture, Turrell was among the pioneers of the Light and Space movement in the late 1960s.

May 08, 2012

Magazine Articles

Weekend with Turrell

by: Nonya Grenader, FAIA

Houston is home to three permanent installations by artist James Turrell: “Skyspace” at Live Oak Friends Meeting House; “The Light inside” at Wilson Tunnel, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace at Rice University. Each yields distinctly different effects, yet they are profoundly connected by the artist’s immersive exploration of light.

PHOTO COURTESY MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, HOUSTON. PHOTOS OF THE LIVE OAK MEETING HOUSE BY PAUL HESTER. PHOTOS OF “THE LIGHT INSIDE” AND “ARCO” COURTESY MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, HOUSTON. PHOTOS BY CASEY DUNN AND JULIE PIZZO WOOD.
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Lines, Numbers, and Colors

by: Matt Fajkus, AIA

The University of Texas at Austin’s Landmarks program recently procured a pair of works by Sol LeWitt and a new “Skyspace” by James Turrell — impressive additions to an already respectable collection of sculptures

“CIRCLE WITH TOWERS” COURTSEY THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN. PHOTO BY MARK MENJIVAR.
DETAILS OF “THE COLOR INSIDE.” COURTSEY THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN. PHOTO BY PAUL
BARDAGJY. WALL DRAWINGS COURTESY OF THE ESTATE OF SOL LEWITT. PHOTOS BY MARK MEJIVAR.
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Marking the Land

by: Matt Fajkus, AIA

Modernist sculptor Constantin Brancusi famously said, “Architecture is inhabited sculpture.” That raises the question: Is sculpture uninhabitable architecture?

Paul Bardagjy, Jacob Termansen, Robert Boland, Marsha Miller, Overland Partners | Architects
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Overwhelmed

by: Stephen Sharpe, Hon. TSA

Art and science – the theme of this edition – converge in the work of James Turrell, particularly in the meticulous design of his bedazzling “skyspaces.” Site specific, they are fine-tuned by the artist to such a degree that changes in external conditions can erode the science and efface the art.

Thomas Brown
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