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Rayna

A work made of wood framing and sheetrock.

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  • A work made of wood framing and sheetrock.

Date:

1979

Artist:

James Turrell
American, born 1943

About this artwork

A pioneer of the California Light and Space movement of the 1960s, Turrell builds environments that invite viewers to experience “the material of light through the medium of perception.” Rayna is from James Turrell’s early series of Space-Division constructions, which he began in 1976. In these works, a pivotal but initially elusive aperture divides a single room into two separate components—an outer viewing room and an inner “sensing” space. Viewers enter the dimly lit outer room through a dark corridor, seeing first what appears to be a flat, rectangular panel hanging on the far wall. As one approaches, the rectangle grows increasingly pronounced until, up close, it reveals itself to open onto a space beyond that seems filled by an almost tangible mist of light. The rectangular opening can be perceived by the viewer in two ways: as a wafer thin plane of light suspended in space and as infinite space. Both perceptual phenomena are based on the reception of light on the retina, to which Turrell attaches a mystical or, at least, otherworldly interpretation. He once referred to the resulting effect as “looking-at-the-space-looking-at-you.”

Status

Currently Off View

Department

Contemporary Art

Artist

James Turrell

Title

Rayna

Place

United States (Artist's nationality)

Date

1979

Medium

Wood framing and sheetrock

Dimensions

Gallery installation approximately: 365.8 × 1097.3 × 1828.8 cm (144 × 432 × 720 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Society for Contemporary Art

Reference Number

1981.1210

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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