Wolf Prize Laureate in Arts 1998
The Prize Committee for Sculpture has unanimously decided that the Wolf Prize in the Arts for 1998 be awarded to:
“His highly individualistic imagery is a spiritualized synthesis of form and light in seemingly infinite space.”
James Turrell is considered to be one of the most interesting, original and important visual artists of the last two decades.
Turrell treats light as a substance, as other artists would treat paint or sculptural materials. He creates environments and installations in which the space becomes a radiant matter and which excludes real objects and defined images. He manages to dematerialize the art object as his works exist on the borderline between reality and imagination, between the existing and the nonexistent. His Art deals with light itself, not as a bearer of the revelation, it is the revelation.
His works challenge our visual perception of the world. By experiencing them we discover new aspects of perception and sight, and through these we rediscover ourselves. For these reasons every work by James Turrell becomes a rare physical and spiritual experience.