Another Building Project Creeps into a Turrell Skyspace

by Paula Newton January 18, 2019

James Turrell’s “Meeting” at MoMA PS1 (image via @jenist/Twitter)

Development has crept into another James Turrell work, reports Hyperallergic in its recent article “James Turrell’s Famous MoMA PS1 Skyspace Interrupted by Neighboring Luxury Condo Development.” This time, a Long Island City development project’s scaffolding has slowly inched its way into the New York Skyspace installation, Meeting (1980–86) at MoMA PS1.

A spokesperson for MoMA PS1 stated that the scaffolding will not be visible once the building is complete, but how long will that take? And how long will it be before Turrell has no more blank canvas with which to work as long as there are people and their stuff nearby? The artist will have to retreat to the Arizona desert to work on finishing his humongous volcano project Roden Crater.

Does the Turrell versus development story sound familiar?

Museum Tower in downtown Dallas. (David Woo/ The Dallas Morning News Staff Photographer)

In a Glasstire article about another Turrell Skyspace, Brian Fee describes the Skyspace at the Nasher:

Tending, (Blue) (2003) – Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas commissioned this Skyspace, housed in a granite block structure at the sculpture garden’s northern end. Turrell created both a vestibule, imbued with almost physical ambient light like in his Ganzfeld (“total field”) works, and the larger, meditative skyspace within, which featured a cycling light program and a sunrise/sunset monitoring system coordinated by an astrological clock. Upon the erection of Museum Tower in 2012, Turrell declared his Nasher Skyspace to be obstructed and, therefore, destroyed.

Since 2012, Glasstire has published over 15 articles about the Turrell mess at the Nasher and the intrusion into the New York Skyspace installation has brought the Dallas story back into the news. Also, Michael Granberry of The Dallas Morning News, recently chronicled the Nasher story as dramatically explained by a Science Channel episode of Engineering Catastrophes. Granberry notes that the narrator wrapped it all up by saying: “Until a solid solution can be agreed upon, Museum Tower and its neighbors will simply have to avert their eyes and hope for the best.”


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Joe Spurlock January 18, 2019 - 14:28

We don’t deserve nice things.


Ashely Anderson January 19, 2019 - 08:15

The essence of the Oculus is that it changes the viewing perspective. I think it can work. What are Terrell’s thoughts?


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