It's up for debate whether James Turrell is a sculptor, painter, architect, Light and Space artist or earthwork artist. We vote for all of the above, and more. But however you cast your ballot, you can't help but be a fan of Turrell's transcendent Skyspaces — specially built rooms (and sometimes mountaintop craters) designed to bounce natural light around in affecting ways. Despite being seen in person by relatively few, they're universally appealing. So are Turrell's interior, artificially lit sculptural installations, which have been experienced by thousands more and are best known for erasing depths of field and creating eerie, self-contained yet infinite spaces — part reality, part illusion. “James Turrell: A Retrospective” opens at LACMA this month, one of three concurrent sites of a suitably humongous, nationwide retrospective that also hits the Guggenheim and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, starting in June. LACMA director Michael Govan points to the common thread of the featured projections, holograms, drawings, preparatory and documentary materials, mixed media renderings and installation pieces ranging from the intimate to the overwhelming: “the 'thing-ness' of light itself.” Many of the works can only be viewed alone or in very small groups, so make a reservation for your visit — because the light may be infinite but space is limited. Los Angeles County Museum of Art. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-City; Mon., Tues., Thurs., 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Fri., 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; through April 6; $15. (323) 857-6000,

Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: May 26. Continues through April 6, 2013
(Expired: 04/06/14)

LA Weekly