James Turrell: Night Life


For more than half a century, American artist James Turrell has worked with light and space to create powerful artworks that play with viewers’ perceptions. Among many strands of his practice are the monumental architectural light works, which give a new, nocturnal life to buildings around the world.

As the Brisbane sky shifts to dusk, James Turrell’s Night Life 2018 illuminates the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) from within. The first of the artist’s architectural light works to be completed in Australia, its shifts in tempo, hue and intensity of colour invite us to consider how we are affected by light. A decade after GOMA opened, this work realises the architects’ vision of animating the building’s facade, with its 88-minute sequence that pulses across the building from sunset to midnight.

The publication documents the most complex and valuable public art project ever realised by QAGOMA — Night Life 2018 by James Turrell — and features an extensive interview with the artist, conducted by QAGOMA Director Chris Saines. The publication also acknowledges the vital support of benefactors and government in realising this significant commission, an architectural light work which is the only one of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.

The Gallery commissioned Florian Holzherr, Turrell’s long-time photographer, to document Night Life’s full spectrum of colours especially for the publication.

120 pages
Hardcover Colour Illustrations


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