Free Essay. Analysis of James Turrell's Aten Reign

Published: 2023-05-01
Free Essay. Analysis of James Turrell's Aten Reign
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Inspiration Arts Emotional intelligence
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 601 words
6 min read

The artwork "Aten Reign" by James Turrell was created in June 2013 and commissioned at the Guggenheim Museum between June 21st to September 25th 2013. The artist, James Turrell, born on May 6th, 1943, is one of the major painters in the space and light area. The American painter, who is a graduate of Art Studies at the University of California between, has won six international awards with the Aten Reign artwork. As stated by the Turrell "My work is more about your seeing than it is about my seeing, although it is a product of my seeing" The statement, therefore, can be argued to show that the art can be analyzed based on its universality, which refers to how the audience sees it and the manner in which it fits the needs. The aim of this essay, therefore, is to analyze "Aten Reign" on its appearance and its major and minor subjects.

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In terms of its appearance, Aten Reign's dimensions are "43.00 x 63.50 in a frame of 109.2 by 161.3 cm". The painting appears in a spherical format but with a rectangular frame orientation. As a painting depicting the nature of space, the painter uses over 1000 LED fixtures, Phillips color kinetics in the lighting system, and a color mixer to create several dimensions of light spread across the object. The object itself is a frame that moves across the six tiers in a vertical dimension. The light shines at the top ring and moves down in a fading color mixture. The overall composition is a beam of light at the middle illuminating several spheres of different blends of color that move from a lightly condensed to a deep blue color. However, its composition is unbalanced as it appears to fade from one layer to the other. The light plays a significant role in depicting the movement of the object from one dimension to the other.

Aten Reign has both major and minor subjects. The major subject in the painting is the beam of light that is located at the focal point of the image. The light is used to create different spreads of light, which can be symbolic of how information can become distorted as it moves from the source. The minor subject, in this case, is the blue color, which can be symbolically used to show that more people are at the bottom rather than at the top of the information ladder.

The painting Aten Reign represents James Turrell in different aspects, based on the ideologies and techniques it applies. One, the aspect of space in artistry. James Turrell is represented as one of the major artists that paint about the various phenomenon of the space. Such aspects include the existence of different layers of content between the sun and the earth. The painting also shows the artist's mastery of light and its effectiveness in creating a message. One of the major representations of Turrell's paintings is about the use of LED light and daylight in expressing different meanings. In this case, James Turrell uses LED light in creating focal objects, such as in the Aten Reign. On the other hand, the artist uses the daylight aspect to show the movement of the object. Such is made possible by the different levels of daylight at different times of the day. Besides, this artist is associated with the semi-development of meaning in his paintings; for example, he states that "My work is more about your seeing than it is about my seeing, although it is a product of my seeing". This shows that the painter is more about allowing the audience to create their own interpretations.

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