James Turrell is an artist working with the simplest of mediums. For five decades, Turrell has used light--in all its glorious hues, intensities and saturations--to create awe-inspiring installations in far flung locales around the globe. Now, a new retrospective of his life's work is open at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston showcasing some of his most beautiful creations.

The exhibition titled James Turrell: The Light Inside is named after the tunnel installation that links the two buildings of MFAH. The Light Inside was installed more than a decade ago, and it was at that time that MFAH began planning this major retrospective with the artist. Other retrospectives of Turrell's work are going on simultaneously this summer at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Guggenheim in New York. The MFAH exhibit runs through September 22.

At a press conference unveiling the exhibit, Turrell talked about the relationship we as humans have with light and why he chose to focus his career on harnessing and manipulating light to create moving art. Turrell explained that few other things in the natural world have the capacity to evoke such guttural feeling as light.

The new exhibition is installed in 22,000 square feet of gallery space at MFAH's
Brown Pavilion. Surveying the artist's ongoing exploration of light, the installation opens with the simple white light of Tycho, an early double projection from 1967 that pays tribute to the "zips" of Barnett Newman, and closes with the evolving and nuanced color harmonies of Aurora B (2010-11) from the artist's "Tall Glass" series. Both these works will have their public debut with this installation.

Other works in the exhibition will engage and challenge viewers to test the limits of their perception, culminating with the magnificent End Around (2006) Ganzfeld, or "complete field," which engulfs the viewer in a pure, seemingly limitless field of light that gradually changes color.

In addition to The Light Inside installation, Houston is home to two other permanent examples of Turrell's work: at the Live Oak Friends Meeting House in the Heights and the most recent installation the Twilight Epiphany Skyspace at Rice University.