Archive for the ‘Turrell’ Category

Love this New York lobby

by light-and-space artist James Turrell.

Walking away from Times Square (who wouldn’t?) this lobby somehow caught my attention.

A passerby saw me looking and pronounced, “that’s wierd.” I thought,” it’s James Turrell made corporate.” And this being New York, it is. A genuine Turrell. And it’s wonderful.

I hear the color alternates from blue to green to red. I think I’d want to walk into and through it every day on the way to work. Would it change my mood?

Or, as CIT is a consumer finance company, and this is their world headquarters; with finance in turmoil, maybe they should program the Turrell to display the current mood of the market, use the lobby like a mood ring. You know,

  • Mood Ring Stressed
  • Mood Ring Fearful
  • Mood Ring Nervous
  • Mood Ring Mixed Emotions
  • Mood Ring Normal
  • Mood Ring Relaxed
  • Mood Ring Calm
  • Mood Ring Cool
  • Mood Ring Lovable
  • Mood Ring Romantic
  • Mood Ring Passionate
  • Mood Ring Very Happy

Looking through the revolving door, I rang the buzzer but the guard you see in the back there wouldn’t open it. I’d love to talk with him. He sits by that light all night.

for D.
Mood Ring


The most urban Skyspace by James Turrell, ever.

The skyspace by James Turrell at the very busy intersection of Roosevelt Road and Halsted Street in Chicago, near the University of Illinois at Chicago, where the College of Architecture and the Arts commissioned this. This is what you see looking up through it.

Here’s another view.

Just kidding, that’s the ceiling of a wine shop on Wells St.

The skyspace is supposed to heighten your perception of the sky, its colors and its meaning. Turrell is a fine artist, see this and this .

Ours, here in Chicago, on the campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago is not finished, so one can’t judge, but the first mistake to me, seems to be that our skyspace is not a peaceful place. Since it’s open to the busy streets around it

you hear all the noise. It has “that Pantheon thing” going for it — rounded, open at the top, a nice spot of light moves with the sun, but at the Pantheon you enter a world, a universe, since it’s self-contained. And the only way out is up – to where live the gods. I guess we’re more democratic than that so here you can also look out straight ahead, at life around you; and we have security concerns, so we couldn’t really close off all the walls. Oh well.

The structure itself – not pretty. The benches look (almost vintage UIC!)like this:

And, like the Pantheon in Roma, the skyspace at Roosevelt and Halsted (just doesn’t sound the same, does it? as, “the Pantheon in Roma”) our skyspace casts a moving spot of light, which looks like this

at one particular moment in time. Never again. That’s part of it. Since the opening is oval-shaped, unlike at the Pantheon where it’s a perfect circle, here the sun takes on a nice Jean Arp-like amorphous shape.

The structure, as you see above, does have that Italian thing going for it. As does a restaurant not far away, on Taylor Street!

Back to the Skyspace. It’s done in a Burnt Siena color. Actually it reminds me of

a little-known structure by Brunelleschi (who of course also designed the famous and stirring dome of Florence Cathedral) – the only picture of which I have, includes me in it! Sorry. See the Brunelleschi in the background?

And why is their piazza (and pizza) so much better than ours?
Because they’re Italian!
But tomorrow’s post will be about — Piazza DiMaggio
at least that’s what I call it – here in Chicago on Taylor Street.

‘Til then, “Cin, Cin!”