In the latest documentary by LACMA, the museum explores the creative mind of James Turrell. Raised in a Conservative Wilburite Quaker family, Turrell spent his early years building Quaker meeting places where the community would greet light as it poured in from open ceilings. When viewers experience his work, the influence of his upbringing becomes apparent as he spent many years building installations that give his viewers a chance to look at light — in a new light. From his extensive work on Roden Crater, which took almost 40 years to turn an inactive volcano into a functioning eye; or Into the Light, which placed viewers in an empty room with various structures made of light; Turrell has broken the perception that light’s only purpose is to illuminate the world around us.
The history of art is the history of depicting light.