Created and Sold by James Turrell

James Turrell

Three Gems - Sculptures

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Best known for his visionary work with light, James Turrell created "Three Gems" (2005) as a subterranean installation commissioned specifically for the de Young Museum's sculpture garden.

It features a view of the sky altered by LED lighting effects, which are further enhanced by changing light and weather conditions outside. Although Turrell has created other skyspaces, his project for the de Young was his first skyspace to adopt the stupa form. The retaining walls of this cylindrical space are white concrete and the floor is red stone.

"Three Gems" is best experienced by walking through a short tunnel cut into the hill and entering a cylindrical space carved out of the hill. Once inside the stupa, you sit on the stone benches lining the walls, and view the sky through an oculus cut into the roof of the chamber. Viewers' perceptions of the sky color will be subtly altered by the LED lighting and by changing light and weather conditions outside the chamber.

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