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Stuck Red and Stuck Blue

Image of Stuck Red and Stuck Blue [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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