Light and Space Art Movement - an Introduction

An installation by the artist James Turrell Credit: (

During June I visited an exhibition in Melbourne titled Light and published this post:

Light: Works from Tate’s Collection at ACMI Melbourne
At ACMI Melbourne in June 2022 more than 70 works of art highlight how light has been interpreted over the last 200 years; ground breaking moments where artists have harnessed light through painting, photography, sculpture, drawing, installation and the moving image.

I was introduced to a concept of art created by Light and Space which I found intriguing and very different to the idea of just viewing a painting or a sculpture. I wanted to know more about this type of art and would like to share my new found knowledge with you today.

Light and Space denotes a loosely affiliated art movement originating in Southern California in the 1960s characterized by a focus on perceptual phenomena, such as light, volume and scale, and the use of materials such as glass, neon, fluorescent lights, resin and cast acrylic, often forming installations conditioned by the work's surroundings. Whether by directing the flow of natural light, embedding artificial light within objects or architecture, or by playing with light through the use of transparent, translucent or reflective materials.

Light and Space artists made the spectator’s experience of light and other sensory phenomena under specific conditions the focus of their work. They were incorporating into their work the latest technologies of the Southern California-based engineering and aerospace industries to their develop sensuous, light-filled objects.

James Turrell, who has spread the movement worldwide, summed up its philosophy in saying, 'We eat light, drink it in through our skins'.

It is impossible to explain the concept of Light and Space art in words or images. The video below, which runs for 10 mins, however provides an excellent explanation.

If you would rather have a shorter overview, the video below, which runs for 1.5 minutes is also informative.

I hope you find this type of art as fascinating as I do.

At the Light Exhibition I visited two artists that particularly captured my attention were James Turrell and Olafur Eliasson.

A post will be published soon on each of these artists.