In its current exhibition Neues Museum is presenting historical Amish quilts from a major private collection together with works by American artist James Turrell. Expanses of monochrome color are at the heart of the simple compositions made up of basic geometric shapes that distinguish both the Amish quilts and Turrell's installations and graphic art.
Both exhibition complexes also raise the question of the possibility of spiritual spaces. The quilts' simple shapes are an expression of the Amish lifestyle, isolated from the world.
Monochrome fabrics in rich colors are combined to form patterns whose repertoire is consciously limited. Here, the principle of repetition is an integral part of the genre, something that also plays a fundamental part in Turrell's oeuvre. Rarely shown installations from the early days in the work of this artist who is considered one of the most important exponents of international lighting art fascinate viewers with their geometric shapes of colored light placed precisely in space. In the later cycles First Light and Still Light, Turrell combines projection motifs inspired by Minimal Art to create graphic art in delicately nuanced hues. His formal vocabulary thus dates from the 1960s and 1970s, a time when a consciousness of the Amish quilts sprang up in the art world, anticipating the abstract art of the period.