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LACMA announces 2015 Art+Film Gala honoring James Turrell and Alejandro G. Iñárritu
James Turrell at Roden Crater. ©James Turrell, photo by Florian Holzherr.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- The Los Angeles County Museum of Art announces the date and honorees of its 2015 Art+Film Gala. On Saturday, November 7, notables from the art, film, fashion, and entertainment industries will unite at LACMA to honor artist James Turrell and filmmaker Alejandro G. Iñárritu.

Celebrating its fifth year, the 2015 Art+Film Gala is co-chaired by LACMA trustee Eva Chow and actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who continue to champion the museum’s film initiatives. Gucci once again shows its invaluable support as the presenting sponsor of the annual event.

"In only a few years, LACMA's Art+Film Gala has established its reputation for honoring artists and filmmakers whose impact can be felt worldwide and that have particular relevance to Los Angeles, and James Turrell and Alejandro G. Iñárritu certainly fit that bill," said Michael Govan, LACMA CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director. "In the last two decades, Iñárritu has displayed a daring and nimble vision for films including Birdman and Babel; his work has rightly garnered the highest of critical acclaim. I have known James Turrell for many years and am honored to have cocurated his recent retrospective, which started at LACMA and has traveled the world."

Gala co-chair Eva Chow added, “The Art+Film Gala is now an annual highlight and brings together figures from the worlds of art, cinema, fashion, and music to support the museum. It's a real honor and my pleasure to welcome two such unique and greatly talented artists whose work moves and inspires me deeply. And I am thrilled to co-chair this important fundraiser with Leonardo DiCaprio, whose support for this initiative is so critical.”

Proceeds from the annual Art+Film Gala go toward supporting LACMA’s initiative to make film more central to the museum’s curatorial programming, while also funding LACMA’s broader mission. This includes exhibitions, acquisitions, and educational programming, in addition to screenings that explore the intersection of art and film.


James Turrell
“My work is about space and the light that inhabits it. It is about how you can confront that space and plumb it. It is about your seeing, like the wordless thought that comes from looking into a fire.” —James Turrell

James Turrell is an internationally acclaimed light and space artist whose work can be
found in collections worldwide. Over more than four decades, he has created striking
works—employing the sky as his studio, material, and canvas—that play with perception and the effect of light within a created space. His fascination with the phenomena of light is related to his personal, inward search for mankind’s place in the universe. Influenced by his Quaker upbringing, which he characterizes as having a “straightforward, strict presentation of the sublime,” Turrell’s art prompts greater selfawareness though a similar discipline of silent contemplation, patience, and meditation.

Informed by his training in perceptual psychology and a childhood fascination with light, Turrell began his artistic career in Los Angeles in the early 1960s as one of the leaders of a new group of artists working with light and space. His first solo exhibition of his Projection Pieces took place at the Pasadena Art Museum, forming the basis of his later work. Over the past two decades, Turrell’s work has been recognized in exhibitions in major museums around the world, including the Guggenheim Museum, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA); and the Panza di Biumo Collection, Varese, Italy.

Whether harnessing the light at sunset or transforming the glow of a television set into a fluctuating portal, Turrell’s art places viewers in a realm of pure experience. His large-scale, often architectural works incorporate the complex interplay of sky, light, and atmosphere in motion across expanses of ocean, desert, and city. They include his Skyspaces, of which there are over 80 examples worldwide: chambers with an aperture in the ceiling that opens to the sky. The recipient of several prestigious awards such as the Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellowships, Turrell currently resides in Flagstaff, Arizona, in order to oversee the completion of his most important work that he began in 1974, a monumental land art project at Roden Crater. The artist has been transforming the extinct volcano in northern Arizona into a naked-eye celestial observatory.

In addition to hosting Turrell’s major retrospective in 2013–14, LACMA also currently has on view Breathing Light, a large Ganzfeld installation by the artist, purchased with funds provided by Kayne Griffin Corcoran and the Kayne Foundation. In the spring of this year, through a gift from Hyundai Motor Company as part of The Hyundai Project: Art + Technology at LACMA, the museum acquired Turrell’s Perceptual Cell work Light Reignfall in honor of LACMA’s 50th anniversary.

Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Academy Award–winning director, writer, and producer Alejandro G. Iñárritu is one of the most acclaimed and well-regarded filmmakers working today.

Iñárritu made his feature directorial debut with Amores Perros, a drama that explored
Mexican society told through the perspective of three intertwining stories connected by a car accident in Mexico City. The film was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2001 Academy Awards.

His next film, 21 Grams, was nominated for two Academy Awards for Lead Actress Naomi Watts and Supporting Actor Benicio del Toro and released by Focus Features. His third film, Babel, released by Paramount Pictures, premiered at Cannes, where Iñárritu won Best Director. That same year, Babel subsequently went on to win the Golden Globe Award for Best Picture Drama, and was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including two for Iñárritu for Best Picture and Best Director. With his two nominations, Iñárritu became the first Mexican filmmaker to ever be nominated for either director or producer in the history of the Academy Awards. Iñárritu’s fourth film, Biutiful, was his first Spanish-language film since Amores Perros. He directed and produced the acclaimed drama, which he also co-wrote with Armando Bo and Nicolás Giacobone. The Focus Features film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, and Javier Bardem was nominated for Best Actor for his moving lead performance.

Last year Iñárritu won three Academy Awards for directing, cowriting and coproducing Best Picture winner Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance). The acclaimed dark comedy also won Best Cinematography and was nominated for an additional five Academy Awards. Iñárritu won a DGA Award and a PGA Award for the Fox Searchlight film, which starred Oscar nominees Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, and Edward Norton.

Iñárritu is currently in post-production on The Revenant, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy, which he co-wrote with Mark L. Smith. The film follows trapper Hugh Glass, who, driven by his love for his son, sets out on a quest for revenge against the harrowing backdrop of the 19th-century American frontier. Iñárritu is also a producer on the epic adventure film, which is inspired by true events and will be released at the end of the year by 20th Century Fox.

Iñárritu first began his career as a radio host and radio director at Mexican rock radio
station WFM, which became the number one radio station in Mexico during his time.
After working in radio, Iñárritu spent three years studying theater in Mexico City with
Ludwik Margules, and then began writing, producing and directing short films and
commercials under his Z Films company in Mexico.

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