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Related Exhibitions

James Turrell: Trace Elements
Scott Johnson: Places Apart



FAC Blog | think outside the square

James Turrell and Scott Johnson Exhibitions

July 14 – September 30, 2012



“Visual art usually invades the head; Turrell hopes to invade the entire body.”
—UK’s The Independent


The Fine Arts Center presents James Turrell’s installation piece, Trace Elements: Light Into Space, in conjunction with an exhibition, Places Apart, by Colorado College professor and artist, Scott Johnson.

“Turrell is a big deal.” – Colorado Springs Independent

“We consider ourselves fortunate to be able to bring an artist of James Turrell’s stature to Colorado Springs, a true giant in contemporary art,” said Sam Gappmayer, FAC President and CEO. “This exhibition, curated by our Museum Director Blake Milteer, comes to the FAC on the heels of our critically-acclaimed, award-winning 2010 exhibition, William Kentridge: The World is Process. And we are excited to pair Turrell with an innovative, local conceptual artist in Scott Johnson.”

"These two artists create extraordinary experiences that engage art's ability to truly resonate in our lives long after we've left the museum," explains Museum Director Blake Milteer.

Turrell is an American artist whose work involves exploration of light and space. A Turrell installation provides an experience that is different for each viewer, and can be moving and thought-provoking.

The piece, Trace Elements, evokes a number of reactions. Westword wrote, “Trace Elements (is) a light sculpture exuding such visual magnetism that viewers may believe they’ve died and gone to heaven.”

For this installation, the Fine Arts Center’s large second-floor El Pomar Gallery will undergo a massive transformation. A large-scale viewing room is being built within the gallery to house Trace Elements.

The artist wants each patron to encounter the piece with no preconceptions, so the Fine Arts Center cannot describe specifics about the work or the experience.

Which turns out to be convenient since the piece is “almost impossible to describe,” according to the UK’s The Independent.

However, the Los Angeles Times reports the installation “exerted a profound effect on viewers.” The Rocky Mountain News called the piece, “mesmerizing.” Westword called Trace Elements “otherworldly” and “a thoroughly unreal environment.”

Trace Elements is on loan to the FAC from the Denver Art Museum. Two James Turrell holograms will also be on display on loan from Aspen’s Baldwin Gallery.

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