Any Blogger who’s ever tried to photograph an exhibit at The Guggenheim will tell you it’s no easy task: what with their strict “No Photography” rules coupled with the numerous Art Nazis (aka guards) strategically placed throughout the galleries. And that just blows; because, to me, if you can’t photograph the art, it’s like it never existed. That’s why I only managed to capture a few good shots of James Turrel’s epic light installation, Aten Reign, as it transformed the Guggenheim’s Rotunda from various shades of purple to numerous hues of blue on its way through the entire color spectrum. But these few photos probably serve as a sufficient teaser, because this is one of those exhibits that you have to experience in person to really “get.”
For Aten Reign, the entire rotunda has been re-imagined to serve as a canvas for this intensely site-specific work of art. All open space between the rotunda and the museum’s spiraling ramps has been sealed off with white scrim, which reflects the colored lights and creates a meditative, open-sky effect. Visitors can best experience Aten Reign either by sitting on provided seating along the walls of the rotunda’s ground floor, or actually laying flat in the center of the floor on provided mats — though this space seemed to be in fairly high-demand, and was not prone to frequent vacancies.
There are a few other, minimalist exhibits of Turrel’s light work along the ramps and in a few of the upper galleries, but trust me, Aten Reign is the money shot, so spend as much time as you can just enjoying it. Find out more about the exhibit and see a video of how they put this thing together at Guggenheim Dot Org.
James Turrell At The Guggenheim (5th Avenue at 90th Street in NYC) Runs Only Through September 25, 2013, so don’t wait too long before planning your trip!