GOMA gets that James Turrell glow

A major architectural light installation by internationally renowned light artist James Turrell is set to transform Queensland’s Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) in its 10th anniversary year.

Indicative image of James Turrell architectural light installation at Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art

Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) Director Chris Saines said the James Turrell commission would illuminate GOMA’s facade at night from early December 2017 with support from the Queensland Government, generous donations from leading benefactors, and the 2017 QAGOMA Foundation Appeal.

“The ambitious and dramatic artwork will be a permanent installation, transforming the way the Gallery of Modern Art building is seen and experienced by our local, national and international audiences,” Saines said.

Indicative image of James Turrell architectural light installation at Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art

“In 2002, after Architectus + Davenport Campbell won the international competition to design the Gallery of Modern Art, lead architects Kerry Clare, Lindsay Clare and James Jones envisaged an artist-illuminated ‘white box’ on the building’s main pedestrian approaches.

“Turrell’s architectural light installation will activate the potential of GOMA’s white box facade and realise one of the architects’ original design intentions with the building. It will see GOMA’s eastern and southern facades illuminated from within from dusk with an evolving pattern of light developed by the artist for the location.

“The artwork will be visible from around the Cultural Precinct and across the river, adding substantially to the presence of our already iconic building, giving it new life after dark.

Indicative image of James Turrell architectural light installation at Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art

“Turrell’s work will showcase the Gallery of Modern Art to its full potential and it has the potential to become yet another impressive ‘destination artwork’, the likes of which the Arizona-based artist has created around the world,” he said.

For more than half a century, James Turrell has worked with light and space to create immersive and moving artworks that play with viewers’ perceptions. His large-scale luminous installations – located in or on buildings, or within landscapes – attract visitors from around the world.

Turrell has created more than 80 ‘Skyspaces’, chambers with an aperture in the ceiling open to the sky, including Within without (2010) at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, and Amarna (2015), at the Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart.