“A Long Island City development project’s scaffolding has slowly crept into the skyspace of James Turrell’s New York installation, “Meeting” (1980–86) at MoMA PS1. Excising an aperture from the museum’s ceiling, the Light and Space pioneer’s project is framed by undulating LEDs that focus viewers on the atmosphere’s shifting color palette from dawn to dusk. It’s likely that the visionary artist’s goal was to have museumgoers meditate on the sky’s aesthetic qualities, and not the Queens’ neighborhood’s shifting skyline.
But thanks to the borough’s rapid gentrification, Turrell must confront new and unforeseen challenges that threaten his work’s purity. Such intrusions weren’t likely on his mind when he started building “Meeting,” according to Craig Adcock, a professor of art history at the University of Iowa who wrote the book James Turrell: The Art of Light and Space.”
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