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James Turrell: ORCA (Blue-Red), 1969

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Projects + Exhibitions / Saint Louis / Art

A pioneer of the California Light and Space movement, which began in the 1960s, James Turrell has long explored the mysteries of light. One of his most notable installations was ORCA (Blue-Red), from 1969, a part of his early “Projection Piece” series. The installation fills an entire room, and is created with two piercing beams—one blue, one red. Although they are close to each other the beams never intersect, and this creates a thin band of shadow between them. The illusion is a message about perception. “I want you to sense yourself seeing,” Turrell has explained. “To be aware of how you are forming the reality you see.” The exhibition presents ORCA (Blue-Red), along with the rest of the “Projection Piece” series. —E.C.

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