Tag: Museum Frieder Burda


James Turrell. The Substance of Light

Anyone who immerses themselves in James Turrell’s light spaces enjoys a magical experience: the colored, changing light makes the room seem endless. Born in 1943 in Los Angeles, Turrell took an avid interest in flying at an early age. Today, he describes the skies as his studio, his material, his canvas. In the 1960s, influenced by minimal art and land art, he employed a range of techniques to give the immaterial light a physical presence. The Substance of Light at the Museum Frieder Burda is an exhibition conceived in close cooperation with the artist himself. Over five decades, Turrell’s work has combined conceptual thinking, science, technology and spirituality to create a unique art form: the artwork takes shape through the perception of the observer, which becomes so focused that he, in Turrell’s words, “can see his own seeing.”

This becomes clear right at the beginning of the exhibition, when visitors are led into the huge light space Apani, which already caused a sensation at the Venice Biennale in 2011. Turrell uses the German word “Ganzfeld” to describe these installations, in which visitors enter a room that seems to have no limits, with its own, especially composed light sequence. This triggers a paradox phenomenon: the visitor‘s attention turns from outside to inside, changing into a kind of meditative observing. “In a way,” explains the artist, “light unites the spiritual world with the ephemeral, physical world.” Turrell‘s affection for painting is demonstrated by his “Wedgework” installations. Projections form walls and barriers made of colored light. They suggest a spatial depth but also evoke the monochrome canvases of color field painting. The exhibition also presents Turrell’s most ambitious project, Roden Crater: During a flight in the 1970s, he noticed an extinct volcano in the Arizona desert. Since then, he has been converting it into a type of space observatory. This complex of subterranean chambers, shafts and tunnels is like a temple dedicated only to light. A selection of models, photographs and a film documentary provide impressions of the biggest artwork on our planet. Models and prints of Turrell‘s Skyspaces are on show on the mezzanine: this part of the show is dedicated to these walk-in light spaces whose architecture is especially designed to fit in with their surroundings. They comprise both solitary constructions and individual rooms in existing buildings, with apertures in their ceilings, through which one can gaze at the skies as if they were a living work of art.

Upstairs in the museum, a small selection of light works is on show. These include one of his Dual Shallow Space Constructions, which display light frames in front of a wall of light or a room of light, along with one of his astonishing Projection Pieces, his earliest series. Here, a projector shines a geometric body of light on the opposite corner of the room. In the cabinet, also upstairs, works never seen before from his two-dimensional “Hologram Series” are on display.

Finally, in the basement, the viewer can look forward to a new creation especially made for the Frieder Burda Collection: Accretion Disk is part of the “Curved Wide Glass Series,” whose objects slowly change color over a space of several hours. The cosmic aspect of James Turrell‘s art manifests itself here: in astrophysics, an accretion disk is the term used for a disk of gas or interstellar dust orbiting around a central body, often a new-born star.Continue Reading..


Andreas Gursky

With an objective and precise eye, he captures the burning issues of modern life and global reality. The exhibition forms an arc between Gursky’s older, iconic works and his latest and most current visual inventions.

Curator: Udo Kittelmann

He is considered one of the most important contemporary artists: the Dusseldorf-based photographer Andreas Gursky (born in 1955 in Leipzig). With an objective and precise eye, he captures the burning issues of modern life and global reality. Each overall composition is a technical and visual masterpiece that has long inscribed itself on the collective visual memory of the art world.

In addition to his commitment to colour photography, Gursky’s typical forms of expression are to be found in digital processing and extremely large-scale formats. In the process, his works always bear visual testimony to his decades of travel around the globe. Hence, behind his pictures is an imaginary map that traces the artist’s travels. There is hardly another artist of our time so devoted to travel and it is becoming increasingly clear that Gursky has always had an eye on an exact depiction of the world, its construction and its condition. His images always reflect on both the inward and outward appearance of the world. The apparent beauty and perfection of his pictures is deceptive – it is not until after the first glance that it becomes obvious that they conceal the wealth of thought in the depicted. Gursky’s images seduce through that which is portrayed but at the same time, they insist that the viewer think about the reasons behind them.

From ancient sites through contemporary scenes and political debates to fictitiously arranged fantasy worlds: Andreas Gursky’s pictures also turn out to be subtle observations of the state of our globalised world. Cairo and the Cheops pyramids, Prada shops and Toys“R“Us, production facilities and garbage dumps, mass spectacles in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, or at national church conferences, the subversive demonstration of power structures and global world orders, internationally active stock markets, museums as places of supposed reflection and comic heroes used to portray future worlds – all this belongs to the artist’s repertoire of visual compositions.

The exhibition in Museum Frieder Burda, which is being developed in close co-operation with the artist himself, allows the viewer to rediscover Gursky’s fascinating cosmos of images in a kind of overview. The strict “involvement” of these pictures, which serve our worldly concepts and imaginations, is put up for exploration and discussion. The exhibition, curated by Udo Kittelmann for the Museum Frieder Burda, forms an arc between Andreas Gursky’s older, iconic works and his latest and most current visual inventions. This presentation opens up a rich pictorial panorama to the visitor, which simultaneously provides a precise analysis of our complex reality and formulates great joy in the seeing and discovering of pictures.Continue Reading..