Is a James Turrell ‘Skyspace’ Coming to an Austrian Mountain Peak?

There's a Turrell in the Swiss Alps, now Austria wants one too.

James Turrell, Skyspace Tewlwolow Kernow (2013) Photo: via Jamesturrell.com
James Turrell, Skyspace Tewlwolow Kernow (2013)
Photo: via Jamesturrell.com

The Austrian art association Horizon Field has unveiled plans to bring a James Turrell Skyspace artwork to a mountain peak near the ski resort town of Lech am Arlberg, in the Austrian Alps. If funding is secured, the association wants to realize the Turrell project by 2017.

Working with the intangible mediums of space and light, Turrell’s Skyspace series allows viewers to observe the sky through a round, oval or square opening.

According to Der Standardthe proposed Lech Skyspace will not be part of an existing building but rather built as a freestanding structure atop the Tannegg peak, at 1,780 meters (5,839 feet), which is the place Turrell personally selected for the work during a visit to the resort in the fall of 2014.

The plan envisages a 15-meter (50 feet) long tunnel that leads into a subterranean light room. Only 1 meter (3.2 feet) of the structure will be visible above ground.

Turrell has been exploring the nature of light and space since the 1960s, and in that time has created works all over the world from Yucatan to Japan, not to mention his yet-unfinished opus magnum, the Roden Crater in the Arizona desert(To find a James Turrell near you, look at this handy map of the world which pinpoints the locations of his works).

Antony Gormley Horizon Field August 2010 - April 2012. Photo: Markus Tretter, courtesy of Antony Gormley und Kunsthaus Bregenz.

Antony Gormley Horizon Field August 2010 – April 2012.
Photo: Markus Tretter, courtesy of Antony Gormley und Kunsthaus Bregenz.

Horizon Field is currently raising funds to realize the ambitious project which carries an estimated price tag of €800,000 ($866,000). The association previously failed to find a sponsor or benefactor to keep Anthony Gormley’s Horizon Field project in the town in 2012.

Margot Dörler-Fritsche of the Kunsthaus Bregenz, which supported Gormley’s project in 2010, told artnet News that the Horizon Field association was founded following the failure to secure funding to keep the Gormley installation in Lech am Arlberg. Since then, the association has sought to commission a major artwork by an internationally renowned artist for the Arlberg region.

There are numerous Skyspaces across Europe, including one is Salzburg, Austria, and one in the Swiss Alps.


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