James Turrell 1943 - present

James Turrell was one of the first light-sculptors I discovered. He works with light in a very personal, very situational way - mixing natural and artificial light in beautiful, fantastic ways. He is one of the foremost artists in the 'light and space' movement - a label for minimalist art of the 1960s and 1970s produced in California that was concerned with how geometric shapes and use of light could affect the environment and perception of the viewer. 

There is a fascinating interview with him for his retrospective exhibition at The Guggenheim in which he outlines his approach. 

I am known as a light artist, but rather than be someone who depicted light, or painted light in some way, I wanted to have the work be light.
— James Turrell

His work is quiet, peaceful, inviting contemplation and appreciation. Although instantaneously immersive, It is not immediately understandable. Rather, time is required to be still and absorb the light and colour - to dip oneself into the palette and become one with the paint.

Most incredibly, James Turrell has transformed the natural world into his magnum-opus through his purchase of an extinct volcano called Roden Crater. Bought in the 1970s this has slowly been reinterpreted as a sacred space where light, rock and man meet in an ever-evolving triptych. 

As a theist and a Quaker, Turrell in his experiments with light sees them as part of the process of “seeing the light” and using light as a path to revelation. It's clear that through his work, he helps all of us see the light that surrounds us in completely new ways.