Slog - The Stranger's Blog

Line Out

The Music Blog

« Did McGavick push discriminati... | Lindsay Lohan's Purse: STOLEN!... »

Friday, September 8, 2006

James Turrell at the Seattle Art Museum

Posted by on September 8 at 9:52 AM

On a sneak-peek walkthrough of the new Seattle Art Museum downtown yesterday afternoon, the curator Chiyo Ishikawa was ticking off which art would go where: abstract expressionism here, minimalism here, pop here, Northwest School here, and the James Turrell room over there.

Stop—what? What James Turrell room?

Oh, the one from our collection that we’ve never been able to show, even though we’ve owned it for something like 20 years, she said.

Ishikawa isn’t familiar with the specs that drive this particular piece, but in general Turrell creates dramatic environments shaped by light (remember the Henry show a few years ago?). Later last night, I ran into Beth Sellars, curator of Suyama Space (having an opening Sept. 15, by the way), who said she suspects the mystery piece was a part of the Center for Contemporary Art’s first-ever show back in the early ’80s, and that it came to SAM after that.

When the museum opens in the spring, SAM’s Turrell room will have its own specially built enclosed space (I believe on the third floor). It will stay up for what Ishikawa described as a long time, but not permanently.

With all that space SAM is extending into over the next decade, I hope eventually it will go on permanent display, providing it’s good. If the CoCA tale is correct, the piece would have the city’s history recommending it in addition to Turrell’s importance. To give you the general gist of a Turrell room, here’s one at the Yorkshire museum that resembles what was at the Henry.


More news to come: On another one of the light and space artists in Seattle.

CommentsRSS icon

"Diversity" is starting to bug me.

Just rename SAM as the Morris Graves Gallery. (Are you a relative Jen?)

Give the Turrel Room back to the Henry.

Graves was a member of the "Northwest School", was adept at "abstract expressionism" and "minimalism". He was greatly influenced by Asian philosophy.

And add a room to showcase the beautiful sketchings and mock-ups of the original building designed by Robert Venturi. Call it a tribute to the ego of Gehry's EMP.

I hope the Turrell piece requires that you wear soft booties. That was the best part of the blue room at the Henry.

I cant believe they've been hiding it for so long.

Sometimes I just HATE the SAM.

Cannot wait. Cannot! And, Annie, I agree. The booties were thrilling!

exciting! the experience of a space, often with multiple senses engaged, is for me the ultimate experience of "art."

Comments Closed

In order to combat spam, we are no longer accepting comments on this post (or any post more than 45 days old).