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Image Stone: Moon Side

Image Stone: Moon Side, 1999 - James Turrell

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Image Stone: Moon Side, 1999

James Turrell  

Print, Work on paper
40.5 x 49.5 cm / 15.94 x 19.49 inch
Edition of 40 copies, signed and numbered by the artist

  • Medium: etchings aquatint from photographs
  • This series of 6 etchings is framed
  • Ships from Belgium after an additional crating and shipping quote has been approved by buyer

about this work

This series is connected to James Turrell's most ambitious project, one he has been working on since 1972: Roden Crater. Roen Crater is an extinct volcanic cinder cone, located in the San Francisco Volcanic Field near Arizona’s Painted Desert and the Grand Canyon. The cone is 3.2 km wide, over 180 meters tall, and is approximately 400,000 years old. The volcano and the surrounding land was purchased by Los Angles-based artist James Turrell in 1979, with the intention of turning the cinder cone into a massive open air work of art consisting of a naked-eye observatory at the inner core, where guests could view and experience sky-light, solar, and celestial phenomena. Turrell was inspired by ancient observatories like Borobudur, Angkor Wat, Pagan, Machu Picchu, the Mayan pyramids and the Egyptian pyramids. Initially Turrell expected the project to be completed in 2 to 3 years. But the date of completion was pushed back a number of times due to financial issues and construction had to be halted at different times. Now more than 40 years later, he's completed construction on only about one-third of his plans. The project is not open to the public, but occasionally Turrell would invite friends and acquaintances for tours. Very few people have seen the insides.

Inside Roden Crater, there's a space called the Sun & Moon Chamber to observe celestial events—you can see images of the sun and moon on the surface of a large basalt stone called the “image stone.” Leading up from that stone is an approximately 275 meters tunnel that leads to a portal—an opening to the sky. The tunnel acts as a giant refractor telescope and contains a very large lens at the center to focus the light. This series of six prints shows a plan of the Sun & Moon Chamber, an image of the basalt "image stone", and four moons as depicted on the Moon-side of the image stone.

about James Turrell

For over half a century, the American artist James Turrell has worked directly with light and space to create artworks that engage viewers with the limits and wonder of human perception. Turrell, an avid pilot who has logged over twelve thousand hours flying, considers the sky as his studio, material and canvas. New Yorker critic Calvin Tompkins writes, “His work is not about light, or a record of light; it is light — the physical presence of light made manifest in sensory form.” Informed by his training in perceptual psychology and a childhood fascination with light, Turrell began experimenting with light as a medium in southern California in the mid-1960’s.

Informed by his training in perceptual psychology and a childhood fascination with light, Turrell began experimenting with light as a medium in southern California in the mid-1960’s. The Pasadena Art Museum mounted a one-man show of his Projection Pieces, created with high-intensity projectors and precisely modified spaces, in 1967. Mendota Stoppages, a series of light works created and exhibited in his Santa Monica studio, paired Projection Pieces with structural cuts in the building, creating apertures open to the light outside. These investigations aligning and mixing interior and exterior, formed the groundwork for the open sky spaces found in his later Skyspace, Tunnel and Crater artworks.

Turrell’s medium is pure light. He says, “My work has no object, no image and no focus. With no object, no image and no focus, what are you looking at? You are looking at you looking. What is important to me is to create an experience of wordless thought.”

James Turrell is one of the world's most important living artists, and has had numerous solo exhibitions as venues such as Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Kunsthaus Bregenz, Bregenz; Magasin 3, Stockholm; Kunstsammlung für Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf; MoMa, New York; Kunsthalle Basel; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. 

James Turrell is represented by the following galleries; 
click through to discover more of his work.

Almine Rech Gallery, Paris / Brussels / London

Pace Gallery, New York / London / Beijing / Paris / Hong Kong

Gagosian Gallery, New York / Beverly Hills / San Francisco / London / Paris / Rome / Athens / Hong Kong

You can also see more of his work on Turrell's own website


Learn more about this artist