The seminal Light and Space artist James Turrell, best known for his pioneering light “sculptures” and light-drenched rooms that manipulate perceptual mechanics, has landed in the tabloid spotlight once again.
In a feature recently published in Architectural Digest, the NBA star Devin Booker, boyfriend of the Kardashian-empire beneficiary Kendall Jenner, expressed he was inspired to purchase one of the artist’s signature light sculptures for his Arizona mansion after being “astonished” during an exclusive visit to the artist’s magnum opus, Roden Crater, which is expected to open to the public in 2024.
The sculpture, a rectangle amalgamating an ethereal oscillation of purple and pink light, is installed in Booker’s dining room, opposite a stocked glass wine cellar. “It’s probably my favourite piece in this house,” the Phoenix Suns shooting guard told AD. “You stare at it long enough, it starts looking like a floating box.”
Some are pointing to Jenner’s influence on Booker’s home décor; in 2020, the reality star turned model showed off her own Turrell, a large-scale $750,000 light sculpture from his Glass series (2006-ongoing) that she purchased during the second edition of Frieze Los Angeles in a joint presentation by Kayne Griffin Corcoran and Pace.
Jenner later told AD she had “always been a huge Turrell fan”, having been introduced to the artist’s work through Kanye West, Kim Kardashian’s estranged husband. West, who has just split with art world-adjacent actress Julia Fox (who was previously linked to the former Marlborough Gallery heir Max Levai), has long expressed his admiration for Turrell, filming his Imax film Jesus Is King in Roden Crater and pledging $10m to the project.
Turrell first entered the mainstream in 2015, when the rapper Drake appropriated (or honoured) the artist’s luminous rooms in his Hotline Bling music video, prompting Turrell to issue an official statement expressing he was “flattered to learn that Drake fucks with me”, but that his studio was not involved in the making of the video.