Turrell_4046-76a.jpg [1]

One of Turrell’s earlier works, Stuck Red and Stuck Blue are a pair of installations which were first created in Mendota Studio in 1970 but not formally displayed in an exhibit until nearly 20 years later in 1989. The installation consists of a pair of clean-cut, rectangular shaped depressions in two opposite walls, each completely and evenly illuminated by fluorescent lights (Stuck Red illuminated by a red light while Stuck Blue is illuminated by a blue light). The chamber the installation resides in is very carefully crafted to make sure the walls, the light chambers, the light illumination intensities and paths all share identical size. The chambers then emit light that casts an even purple glow along the rest of the installation. There is even an optical illusion included in the piece, giving the impression that the light projections are a part of the same linear plane as the walls are when viewed from a distance. Like many of his other light based pieces, Stuck Red and Stuck Blue invoke a sense of timelessness with their simplicity and usage of ageless light. As quoted by Turrell himself in the book “James Turrell: The Art of Light and Space”, “It has no sense of stylistic development”[2]; that is to say it does not evolve or progress, but rather stays free of change or history and static in its form. Turrell’s style of simplistic “sculpture” with light stands as a landmark in optical manipulation, pushing themes of dichotomy and illusion(though he doesn’t consider it so).

[1]: Image of Stuck Red and Stuck Blue from San Diego Contemporary Art Museum

[2]: James Turrell: The Art of Light and Space (Googlebooks)

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