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$6,500 to see the Art of James Turrell

February 20, 2015

Almost every artist has a piece that could be classified as his or her masterpiece or the life achievement. For James Turrell, the famous American artist, it is the ongoing gigantic project Roden Crater. The Roden Crater project belongs to the group of the most spectacular and most controversial art projects today. Roden Crater is an extinct volcanic cinder cone, located in the San Francisco Volcanic Field near Arizona’s Painted Desert and the Grand Canyon. Back in 1979, James Turrell acquired the crates, and since then he has been turning this natural cinder volcanic crater into a massive naked-eye observatory. This James Turrell’s legendary endeavor is not finished yet, mainly because of the financial reasons, yet it has already gained attention from collectors and art lovers in general. On May, an extraordinary fund-raising activity will take place. Those who are interested will be able to visit the Roden Crater for the price of $ 6,500.

Roden Crater project (courtesy of the artist's website)
Roden Crater project (courtesy of the artist’s website)

The Art of James Turrell

James Turrell is primarily concerned with space and light. Dealing with the questions of seeing, whether it is the visible objects in nature or human surroundings or the refraction of colors produced by natural activities in sky, James Turrell is examining the human sensory limitations. In his works, objects, focuses and images are not the subject matters. His works is completely centered on the research of the possibilities to visually see the composition. With quite a difficult task he imposed on himself, James Turrell wants to leave his visitors speechless while experiencing his work. Therefore, the pure light itself is the most important medium he uses. One should not think about James Turrell as an eccentric artist that devotes all his time to the grandiose Roden Crater project. He is a very productive artist, and his works are unavoidable parts of many exhibitions and auctions as well.

Roden Crater project (courtesy of the artist's website)
Roden Crater project (courtesy of the artist’s website)

The Roden Crater project

Roden Crater, a natural cinder cone crater, has been in focus of James Turrell’s work for decades. This 400 thousand years old and 600 foot tall red and black cinder cone is being turned into a monumental work of art and a naked-eye observatory. James Turrell has sculpted the dimensions of the crater bowl and cut a series of chambers, tunnels and apertures within the volcano. Many of the planned construction works have been completed. The movement of over 1.3 million cubic yards of earth to shape the Crater Bowl and the construction of the 854′ East Tunnel and related spaces is now complete. Once it is finished, the project will contain some 20 rooms, with light within the rooms coming from many sources. Once completed, Roden Crater will probably be one of the most fascinating naked-eye observatories in the world, designed particularly for the viewing of celestial phenomena.

James Turrell
James Turrell

Roden Crater Visit

In order to fundraise money for the completion of the Roden Crater project, James Turrell has allowed the visit to Roden Crater for a limited number of visitors. From May 14th, until May 17th, the place will be opened for public. However, you will have to pay for the visit, since the main purpose of this activity is to fund the completion of the whole project. The cost of the visit is $ 6,500 from which $ 5,000 go directly to the foundation supporting the project, while $ 1,500 will cover hotel room, a tour and meal. Maybe expensive at first sight, but imagine how extraordinary this gigantic art work looks, even though it is still in the process of creation.

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Roden Crater project (courtesy of the artist's website)
Roden Crater project (courtesy of the artist’s website)

Featured Image: Roden Crater, satellite views (for illustrative purposes) All images for illustrative purposes only.