First and foremost, it was an encounter. A memorable meeting at the Park Hyatt in Paris more than four years ago. James Turrell was with his wife, Kyung. There is a poignant affinity between them. Courted and celebrated all over the world, this artist needs to understand and test the other person before fully engaging.
He is not one to play the diva. There is no mask. No pretence. He is incapable of trickery. His heart always speaks first. This is his unique quality. An incredible curiosity, a meticulous rigour, an obsessive approach to work, accompanied by tremendous generosity and meditative power. He is here with us and yet also elsewhere. His very name seems to have fallen from a constellation.
Before visiting his celestial observatory in the Painted Desert, I went to his retrospective in Baden-Baden. It was a disconcerting experience. Everything was white. You couldn’t tell the walls from the ceilings. To the extent that even your own voice seemed strange. His monumental works play with our perception of reality, confusing and challenging our understanding. Like every great artist, James Turrell depicts the real. He illuminates what we see poorly or imperfectly.
And it was a revelation. I immediately thought there should be a collaboration between Lalique and James Turrell — the light artist. It makes perfect sense when you recall that René Lalique was known as “the sculptor of light”. Consistency and permanence. A heritage constantly reinvented. To be sure of convincing him, I invited James Turrell to visit our workshops in Wingen-sur-Moder. Fascinated by the master-artisans’ work, he scrutinized their every move, frequently questioning them. Watching the hands of artisans always generates powerful emotions.
Silvio Denz, Chairman and CEO, Lalique S.A.
"In this light panel, specially created for Lalique, the colour sequences trigger vibrations. As in my other works, this ripple effect is intended to draw the viewer into an intimacy that is both open and closed, offering a paradigm of life."
"By giving shape to this liquid glass, René Lalique created a work of light. As I did with my panel, which echoes another of my works, Aten Reign, exhibited at the Guggenheim in 2013. There is the same play on the distribution and change of colours. Unlike paint, the more colours you mix, the whiter the light becomes."
"Like pictorial works, this panel has a hypnotic tension, as if the light pattern were drawing our gaze to the point from which the artist is observing us."
RANGE RIDER AND PURPLE SAGE
The crystal perfume bottles were created in a limited edition of 100 of each model, equating to hours of work by highly skilled artisans. These are genuine works of art, entirely handmade, with pure geometric shapes in polished coloured crystal. A break with the traditional approach in the creation of Lalique bottles. No other artist has ever designed or inspired perfume bottles at Lalique.
For the first time, James Turrell is also designing small-scale pieces with a decidedly modern aesthetic. The purity and simplicity of the lines conceal an extraordinary sophistication. A feat that required four years of work in close collaboration with the artist.
A box made of exotic wood beautifully matches the silhouettes of the two perfume bottles, on which a metal plate with the names of the perfumes has been placed. Artistic and olfactory sensibilities have thus created multi-sensory works.
Art and fragrance come together…
For over half a century, American artist James Turrell has worked directly with light and space to create artworks that engage viewers with the limits and wonder of human perception. An avid pilot who has logged over twelve thousand flying hours, Turrell considers the sky as his studio, material, and canvas.
Turrell’s medium is pure light. He says, “My work has no object, no image, and no focus. With no object, no image, and no focus, what are you looking at? You are looking at yourself looking. What is important to me is to create an experience of wordless thought.”
James Turrell & Lalique
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