James Turrell installation reopens at MoMA PS1 after nearby construction impedes views

August 6, 2019

Image via Flickr cc

James Turrell’s celebrated Skyspace installation at MoMA PS1 is open to the public again after views from a high-rise construction encroached on the piece and forced a temporary closure back in January. Meeting is a site-specific, permanent installation that was installed in the museum in the 1980s and offers a simple pleasure: gazing upwards toward an unobstructed view of the sky. The aperture is framed by LED lights that change over the course of the day, creating interesting optical effects between the color of the sky and that of the room.

The obstruction came from the high-rises going up across the street at 22-44 Jackson Avenue, the residential buildings that are replacing 5 Pointz, the legendary graffiti spot that was torn down by developer Jerry Wolkoff in 2014. The rising 48- and 41-story towers topped out in 2017, but construction equipment being used to install the facade temporarily impeded the view of Turrell’s piece, and the artist requested that the installation be closed until the equipment could be removed.

As the New York Times reported, this wasn’t the first time high rise development led Turrell to close one of his installations. A similar Skyscapes installation at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas was permanently closed after a rising luxury condominium obstructed the view.

The piece officially reopened last Thursday and MoMA PS1 also announced that it will soon begin selling timed “sunset viewings” for visitors to experience the installation at one of the most dramatic times of the day.


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