James Turrell was born in 1943 in Los Angeles. He studied experimental psychology and mathematics as an undergraduate at Pomona College, and the fine arts at Claremont Graduate University, where he earned an MFA (both schools are located in southern California). Turrell began working in the 1960s and, like many artists of the period, abandoned conventional painting and sculpture for new media and an expanded definition of art. In 1967, he had his first solo exhibition at the Pasadena Art Museum. His installations are based on the pure experience of artificial and natural light. Ranging in scale from single rooms to the vast Roden Crater project in Arizona, this work has established him as an original and visionary artist. Turrell currently lives and works in Flagstaff, Arizona, and on Maryland's Eastern Shore.