• Series of artistic annual reports enters its 24th year
• Report features numerous previously unpublished photographs of Turrell’s work
Dornbirn, Austria – In the International Year of Light proclaimed by the United Nations, the Zumtobel Group’s artistic annual report has been designed by the U.S. light artist James Turrell. Under the heading of “Extraordinary Ideas – Realized” the report features important installations by the artist from the various periods of his oeuvre. An extensive photographic documentation of Turrell’s installations is accompanied by essays and dialogues by and with some of his prominent contemporaries and companions, including experts from the fields of astronomy, physics, art history and medicine. As well as evidencing the diversity and depth of James Turrell’s work, the Zumtobel Group annual report is the first to feature images of his Skyspaces in Japan and Tasmania, and includes previously unpublished material on his earlier works.
The report was presented at the Zumtobel Group’s Annual Shareholders’ Meeting last Friday and joins an impressive array of artistically designed annual reports. Every year since 1992, the Zumtobel Group has commissioned prominent designers from the fields of architecture, graphic design and art to design its annual report in the context of the broader topic of light and of the Group’s business.
“Our mission as an international lighting group is to show people worldwide what light can do above and beyond its familiar applications – and this mission aligns perfectly with the core concept behind the International Year of Light,”
said Zumtobel Group CEO Ulrich Schumacher
. “Against this backdrop, we are delighted that the world’s most outstanding light artist, James Turrell, agreed to design this year’s annual report. This book illustrates in a very special way the direct relevance of Turrell’s work for how we experience and perceive light, as well as underlining the importance of light in physics and art, in medicine and psychology.
Commenting on his own approach to light art, James Turrell
says: “Light is a powerful substance. We have a primal connection to it. But, for something so powerful, situations for its felt presence are fragile. I form it as much as the material allows. I like to work with it so that you feel it physically, so you feel the presence of light inhabiting a space.”
Turrell grew up in a Quaker family in California and his fascination with light emerged in childhood. After studying Art, Astronomy, Mathematics, and Perceptional Psychology at Pomona College where, he says, he was encouraged to pursue “extraordinary ideas”, he went on to create spatial installations using light to realize these extraordinary ideas. Extraordinary Ideas – Realized is also the title of the Zumtobel Group annual report which documents both Turrell’s early work and the most important examples of his art. These include his various Skyspaces located around the world, the famous Skylight installation Aten Reign at the Guggenheim Museum in New York (2013) and his Ganzfeld installation Akhob for Louis Vuitton in Las Vegas (2013), along with other works that he realized with support from Zumtobel, such as the Ganzfeld Bridget’s Bardo at Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg (2009) or the Tall Glass The Geometry of Light from 2007. Pride of place in the book and in Turrell’s oeuvre, however, goes to Roden Crater in Flagstaff, Arizona, an extinct volcano crater near the Grand Canyon, which Turrell, a keen amateur pilot, discovered from the air and which, since the 1970s, he has been transforming into a monumental work of art and observatory.
With few exceptions the photographs of the lighting installations in the annual report are by Munich-based photographer Florian Holzherr, who for the past 18 years and more has been documenting Turrell’s works, suffused with light and of intense colour. In his images, Holzherr succeeds in capturing the experience of looking at or walking through Turrell’s installations and the unique perception of light, colour, time and space that they enable. Specifically for the annual report, for the first time Holzherr photographed the two Skyspaces House of Light (1998–2000) – a Japanese bathhouse in Niigata Prefecture – and Amarna2 (2015) in Tasmania, Turrell’s largest Skyspace to date, in a whole spectrum of lighting moods.
The graphic concept behind the annual report is the work of Lorraine Wild of Green Dragon Office in Los Angeles. The report comprises two books in a slipcase. Wild specified the finest coated paper for the report with Japanese folding. The insides of the Japanese-folded pages are coloured along the visible colour spectrum, so that leafing through the report creates a rainbow-like impression. Photographs of James Turrell in and around his plane play an important part in the overall design, reflecting the significance of flying and the resultant personal experience of light in the atmosphere between earth and sky that is so central to Turrell’s work. The corporate section of the report, which fills the second book, takes up in terms of colour where the art book leaves off. Lorraine Wild has chosen a delicate shade of violet, the final colour in the spectrum, with blue printing. The corporate section comprises the letter from the CEO, reports on the three brands – Zumtobel, Thorn and Tridonic – and excerpts from the management report and consolidated financial statements.
Artistic annual reports from Zumtobel Group since 1992
For the 24th time the Zumtobel Group annual report takes the form of an artwork. The first of the series was designed by Russian architect and designer Mikhail Anikst in 1992 at the initiative of the then CEO Jürg Zumtobel, now Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Zumtobel Group AG. The idea behind this series of art books remains unchanged to this day: to document the close links between the Group and the field of art and culture and at the same time create a design language that goes beyond the corporate design guidelines of the individual brands. Thus, over the years, a wide range of leading figures from the Group’s network of contacts have been invited to design the annual report in line with their wishes and in the context of light and the Zumtobel Group’s business. Initially the Group commissioned mainly graphic designers, such as Italo Lupi, Neville Brody, Per Arnoldi and Stefan Sagmeister, to create the report. Later they were followed by a growing proportion of artists, such as Gerhard Merz, Siegrun Appelt, Olafur Eliasson and Anish Kapoor, and architects including Dominique Perrault, Hani Rashid / Asymptote, François Roche / Studio R&Sie(n), Sejima Kazuyo and Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA, David Chipperfield / DCA and Kjetil Thorsen / Snøhetta.
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