Artwork opens in alpine landscape
The Arlberg in Austria has acquired an inspired work of art with the launch of Skyspace-Lech. The light space on the mountain by world-famous artist James Turrell recently opened to the public in the high alpine landscape of Lech.
The world-famous American artist has spent the past four years designing the light room so that sky and Earth encounter one another from a new point of view. “My works are not about light, they are light,” says Turrell who is regarded as one of the world’s most important and influential light artists of our time.
The Skyspace-Lech designed by Turrell is a walk-in work of art that opens up unique visual experiences for visitors. It also brings an almost mystical light space to the mountain and is a great example of the successful integration of public art into its surrounding landscape. When Turrell visited Lech in September 2014, he says he was profoundly moved by the mountain landscape.
Experts see the Skyspace-Lech as a unique cultural enrichment for the region. The location of the Skyspace Lech in Oberlech had a special appeal for the artist due to its exposed high alpine location at 1,780 metres. For the elliptical construction, as far as possible integrated underground into a natural hilltop, he designed a special dome which can be opened.
To achieve this, the walls and ceiling of the Skyspace-Lech are immersed in light of ever-changing colour. The total loss of depth perception is accompanied by a heightening of inner perceptions. The inward-looking view and thus the increased awareness of one’s own individual perception is, after all, one of James Turrell’s central goals: “My desire is to set up a situation to which I take you and let you see. It becomes your experience.”
The oval opening in the ceiling, which gives a clear view of the sky, measures 3.5 x 2.6 metres. The inside of the Skyspace is lined with black granite and features an all-round bench which is designed to direct the visitor’s gaze to the sky.
On the Tannegg, a popular summer and winter hiking trail passes by the small hill above the Schlosskopfbahn mountain station, making it easy to get to the Skyspace-Lech from the ski run to Oberlech. Visit skyspace-lech.com; austria.info