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MoMA PS1 reopens James Turrell installation after high-rise construction marred its view

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The artist’s Skyspace installation has been closed since January thanks to nearby construction

More than six months after high-rise construction forced a temporary closure of James Turrell’s Skyspace installation at MoMA PS1, the celebrated piece is visible to the public once again.

Last week, the Long Island City offshoot of the Museum of Modern Art reopened the installation, titled “Meeting,” which had closed “indefinitely” in January thanks to an encroaching residential skyscraper—coincidentally, the rental buildings replacing 5 Pointz, the legendary graffiti mecca that developer Jerry Wolkoff tore down in 2014. Wolkoff was ordered to pay out $6.7 million to 21 artists whose work was destroyed in the whitewashing in February 2018, which the developer appealed in September.

The development rising in its place is made up of a 48- and 41-story towers, and topped out in 2017, but construction equipment used to install the project’s facade impeded the view from Turrell’s piece. The artist himself requested that the room be closed for as long as the equipment was in the way. It’s since come down, bringing the installation back to its original form.

According to the artist, a crucial component of the piece is the interplay of the color of the sky outside and the color of the room inside—and having equipment intruding on that view marred the experience.

The installation reopened last Thursday, but MoMA PS1 will also soon start selling timed “sunset tickets” in which viewers can experience the Turrell piece at one of the most dramatics times of the day.


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