Monday, September 22, 2008

Turrell and Chihuly at the DeYoung

My favorite piece in the exhibition: 2 boats filled with glass objects

Just in the nick of time (before it closed) we went to see the Chihuly exhibition at the De Young Museum. We enjoyed the dramatic set up of Chihuly's colorful glass work very much. But more inspiring was a very interesting space in the "backyard", behind the cafe. We ended up spending some time in this strange egg shaped little building that evoked peace and contemplation. This place was created by artist James Turrell and he calls it a "skyspace", because you can watch the sky through an opening in the roof. A beautiful feature was that the sun light entered this building through the oval hole in its dome and then illuminated the entrance (as you can see in my photos). It also had the most interesting accustic and at one point we all started humming with other visitors, creating an intersting sound scape. I would love to have one in my backyard: a beautiful, empty space to go to and chill out while watching the sky. I have enjoyed James Turrell's work since first coming across it in the early 90's and have to say, that I still like him a lot. He is a much better artist for my money in the world of Land, Earth, Conceptual and Process art than Olafur Eliasson, who fairly recently had a giant exhibition at SF MOMA and who is the big hype. I love Turrell, because he has a spiritual side to him, emphasizing the simplicity and beauty of nature and making us slow down to observe. I would definitely link him to all time earth art favorite Andy Goldsworthy. Also he is a cool looking dude! Eliasson's art on the other hand appears to be right out of the SF Exploratorium, science experiments on a grand scales, but lacking a deeper level. I guess his recent installation of waterfalls in New York City, particularly at the Brooklyn Bridge is kinda cool, but I absolutedly hated his show at the MOMA and his constant use of headache inducing orange light!

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