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James Turrell: C.A.V.U.

 

  • Exhibition

  • On view now

“I can make the sky any color you choose.” — James Turrell

Thirty years in the making, James Turrell’s largest free-standing circular Skyspace — titled C.A.V.U. — is now open on the MASS MoCA campus. Measuring 40 feet in diameter and 40 feet high, this repurposed concrete water tank transforms into one of Turrell’s signature immersive light installations, carving out a small piece of the sky and framing it as a canvas with infinite depth. C.A.V.U. joins the exhibition Into the Light, a long-term retrospective of Turrell’s work that currently includes nine light installations, making MASS MoCA the only North American institution offering a comprehensive overview of the artist’s career.

C.A.V.U. is open during museum hours with no reservations required. During mid-day, the dome will be sealed and the space will be transformed into a tightly-controlled multisensory environment, with light projected across the cylindrical interior walls and domed ceiling, and sound altered by the contours of the architecture.

During limited days, at dawn and dusk, the oculus in the ceiling of C.A.V.U. will be open, framing the changing colors of the twilight or early morning sky while subtle interior lighting creates the illusion that the heavens are just beyond the viewer’s grasp.


C.A.V.U. AT DAWN AND DUSK


Limited Thursday-Sunday reservations for James Turrell: C.A.V.U. (Skyspace) at dawn and dusk are available through November 27. Please note, C.A.V.U. is also open during museum hours with no reservations required.

There is a suggested donation of $10/visitor. Donations can be made HERE or in person.

About C.A.V.U. at Dawn

Visitors to James Turrell’s C.A.V.U. at Dawn arrive about 45 minutes before sunrise. After checking in and assembling as a group, visitors are escorted to the skyspace where they remain until about 5 minutes after sunrise. The work is optimally experienced during twilight when the sun is just below the horizon—in the liminal period between night and day, darkness and light.

As viewers look up at the oculus in the structure’s roof, the sky’s colors are altered by the artist’s light program inside, dramatically revealing the relativity of color and perception. The appearance of the sky moves between infinite and flat, reminiscent of a continuously changing painting, or at times taking on the appearance of a solid disc—almost close enough to touch.

About C.A.V.U. at Dusk

Visitors to James Turrell’s C.A.V.U. at Dusk arrive about 30 minutes before sunset. After checking in and assembling as a group, visitors are escorted to the skyspace about 15 minutes before sunset and remain for a half hour or so of twilight. The work is optimally experienced when the sun is just below the horizon—in the liminal period between day and night, light and dark.

As viewers look up at the oculus in the structure’s roof, the sky’s colors are altered by the artist’s light program inside, dramatically revealing the relativity of color and perception. The appearance of the sky moves between infinite and flat, reminiscent of a continuously changing painting, or at times taking on the appearance of a solid disc—almost close enough to touch.

Interior of James Turrell, C.A.V.U., 2021
© James Turrell
Photo by: Arthur Evans