In January of 2019, James Turrell opted to indefinitely close his popular skyspace at MoMA PS1 after its view was interrupted by construction on a nearby luxury condo. But after six months, “Meeting” (1980–86) reopened yesterday morning, August 1, with a clear view.
“The construction elevator was recently removed, so the view is no longer obstructed,” the museum’s director of marketing and communications, Molly Kurzius, told the New York Times.
“Meeting” was intended to provide a clear view of the sky’s changing face throughout the day — an opening to watch clouds and colors shift. A series of LED lights inside of the exhibition space also adjusted as the sun moved through the sky from morning to night. However, the installation’s meditative purpose was interrupted by a harsh reminder of the neighborhood’s rapid gentrification, after temporary construction scaffolding peeked into view.
The source of the construction hoist was the former site of beloved Long Island City graffiti fortress 5Pointz, which was razed in 2014 to create a luxury high-rise. In 2018, real estate developer Jerry Wolkoff was ordered by a federal judge to pay $6.7 million to artists whose work was whitewashed in the process.
In 2013, another of Turrell’s skyspaces was permanently closed after a sky-scraping luxury condo (called the Museum Tower) encroached upon the view of “Tending, (Blue)” (2003). Turrell declared the former installation “destroyed.”