James Turrell (Los Angeles, May 6, 1943) is an American artist, whose works focus mainly on the perception of light and space.
Turrell grew up in Pasadena, with his father Archibald Milton Turrell, an aeronautical engineer who gave him the rudiments on the mechanics of engines and flight, and his mother, Margaret Hodges (doctor). In 1961 he obtained his diploma at the Pasadena High School, and in 1965 the Bachelor of Arts degree in "Psichology and Mathematics" at Pomona College in Claremont. Here he met some of the teachers who exerted a great influence on him, including Graham Bell, the psychology professor Paul Vitz and the professor of astronomy Robert Chambers.
After college, he enrolled at the 'University of California at Irvine, where he studied for two semesters making acquaintance with some of the minimalist artists of California including Tony Delap, John McCraken and David Gray. In 1966 he rented a hotel resigned (Mendota) to carry inside a studio and a place to exhibit his works. Here he exhibited the first Cross Corner projections: perforated metal plates the size of a slide, which are projected at specific angles of the adjacent walls, giving the observer the impression of the presence of a solid light. Among the best known of these projections was the Afrum (later renamed Afrum proto-). In 1967 the Pasadena Art Museum opened his first exhibition.
His experiments with light went on in later years, and Turrell devoted himself particularly to the mode of human perception in controlled environments, or in conditions of altered perception, along with colleague Robert Irwin and the perception of the psychologist Edward Wortz.
In 1974, with funding of Count Panza di Biumo, he created the first designs for what would remain his most famous work: the Roden Crater project. Turrell wanted to transform the Roden Crater, an extinct volcanic cone located in Flagstaff, Arizona, in what he called a "monument to perception." The low humidity and the climate of the place provided the ideal conditions for the experiments devoted to light. The construction of this gigantic work of art is still in progress and is currently entered in step 3. Turell lives half the year in New York and the other half in Flagstaff in order to follow the completion of the work.
(Translated from: http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Turrell)