James Turrell created his first Skyspace at the Villa Panza in Italy in 1975. These works create a viewing situation where the sky appears to be on the same plane as the ceiling. Combining a softly lit interior with the changing light of the sky above provides a dramatic experience of the sky, most notable at sunrise and sunset.
I have always involved time. The coming to it has a certain time. So I like to open time up. There are several ways of doing that: one is to have that come with how the eyes open, and the other is in the glazed-eyes staring overall sameness, the third is change. In the skyspaces there is change. To really appreciate it, you have to experience it over a period of time. James Turrell is one of the most celebrated American artists working today. Born in California in 1943, he grew up with an enduring love of aviation and the sky, as well as a fascination with light. His Quaker background also substantially formed his approach to life and art, with its emphasis on silent access to the "light within." From age six, Turrell was urged by his grandmother to "go inside and greet the light" at Quaker meetings. In the early 1960's, Turrell studied perceptual psychology at Pomona College, taking additional classes in other scientific disciplines, such as mathematics, geology and astronomy.