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Junichiro Tanizaki wrote that “Were it not for shadows, there would be no beauty”, in his marvellous book, In Praise of Shadows. Certainly, light and darkness have been inspiring humankind in all aspects of life – the binary par excellence represents day and night, good and evil, and so much more. One artist who’s been consistently working on light, shadows and space is James Turrell, who’s currently having a two-floor exhibition at Mexico City’s Museo Jumex. Until March 29, visit James Turrell: Passages of Light and immerse yourself into some of his most renowned artworks to date.

“My work is more about your seeing than it is about my seeing, although it is a product of my seeing. I’m also interested in the sense of presence of space; that is space where you feel a presence, almost an entity – that physical feeling and power that space can give”, Turrell has declared about his oeuvre. Creating immersive spaces that deceive the visitor’s eye, the American artist has been making a name for himself since the mid-1960s, when other light artists like Dan Flavin, Robert Irwin, Mary Corse and Keith Sonnier first rose to fame. Using both artificial and natural light, Turrell is now a powerhouse working on major personal projects like Roden Crater, his most ambitious piece to date, and his work can be found in every renowned institution around the world – including his permanent, breath-taking installation at Japan’s Chichu Art Museum.

For his exhibition at Museo Jumex in Mexico City, the institution is giving him two entire floors. On the first one, we can find Amesha Spentas, one of the artist’s installations “that subsume the visitor in a field of colour”, part of his Ganzfeld installations. Through the change of colours and various visual effects, the space created purely by light transforms and dissolves in front of our eyes, making us wonder what’s real and what’s not. On the second floor, the exhibition presents a series of installations, prints, photographs, models and holograms that survey Turrell’s broad-ranging practice.

David Valero

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