The Turrell Art Foundation announced a major gift of $10 million from musician, record producer, and entrepreneur Kanye West to support the completion of James Turrell’s renowned masterwork-in-progress, Roden Crater Project.
Roden Crater Project is one of the most ambitious artworks ever conceived, representing more than 40 years of ongoing work to convert a dormant volcanic crater in the Painted Desert near Flagstaff, Arizona.
In 1974, inspired by such diverse architectural achievements as Buddhist stupas, Native American cliff dwellings, and ancient observatories, Turrell aimed to create a series of spaces that would allow visitors to gaze at the sky without the aid of a telescope and experience some of his own insights into human perception.
“We are in support of Roden Crater so that his work can be experienced and enjoyed for eternity,” West said about Turrell.
“Kanye is a great human being with a big heart and love of art,” noted Turrell. “I am just thrilled to have his support and partnership at this critical juncture of the project.”
“We are immensely grateful to Kanye, an incredibly important artist in his own right, for his generosity,” said Michael Govan, a board member of the Turrell Art Foundation and President of Skystone Foundation, which jointly oversee the Roden Crater Project. “This gift comes at a moment of great momentum for the project as we develop a historic academic partnership with Arizona State University and utilize this as part of nearly $40 million in recent contributions. Thanks to Kanye’s support, and our new ASU partnership we hope to complete Roden Crater in five years.”
Turrell Art Foundation complements the work of the Skystone Foundation founded by Turrell in decades ago to oversee his Roden Crater project.
Upon completion, Roden Crater will feature numerous viewing spaces, tunnels, chambers, and pathways, providing different experiences and moments for the experience of light and space and during astronomical events, day and night. Guided by the artist’s desire to harmonize with the natural landscape, Roden Crater conveys through extraordinary visual and auditory sensations the vastness of the cosmos within the tangible space of human experience.