Press release, July 2020
It is hard to imagine ARoS without Your Rainbow Panorama on top. In future, it will be equally hard to imagine ARoS without The Dome. With political backing and generous donations from Salling Fondene and the New Carlsberg Foundation, the ambitious construction work and outstanding work of art by the world-renowned artist James Turrell can continue.
James Turrell says about his art: Light is not so much something that reveals, as it is itself the revelation. He says about The Next Level: This project is one of the main pieces in my career. It’s highly important.
- We’ve worked hard to realise this ambitious extension of the museum, which we have named The Next Level and we’re extremely pleased to have both financial and political backing for the project, says Erlend G. Høyersten, museum director, ARoS.
- Over a short period of time, ARoS has asserted itself as an international top-class art museum and with Your Rainbow Panorama on top, it has also become an iconic landmark for Aarhus with broad appeal and artistic clout. With the realisation of James Turrell’s spectacular The Dome, ARoS will advance both the museum and the city to ‘The Next Level’, emphasising once and for all Aarhus’ status as a great culture city, says Jacob Bundsgaard, mayor.
- The whole of Aarhus will be elevated to new heights with The Next Level. It’ll be a unique attraction, placing Aarhus in the international premier league in terms of culture. The Next Level will be the centre of a new cultural urban space, to be enjoyed by both local people and visitors every day for generations, says Rabih Azad-Ahmad, councillor for Culture and Citizens’ Services.
From the New Carlsberg Foundation, we’re pleased to be part of securing the realisation of The Next Level. Extending both the urban and museum spaces with James Turrell’s subterranean cathedral is both visionary and courageous, says Christine Buhl Andersen, chairperson of the New Carlsberg Foundation.
- Culture is an important part of Aarhus. ARoS is but one among many cultural institutions from which both citizens and visitors derive great pleasure. Culture and art connect us as human beings and enrich our everyday lives. From Salling Fondene, we’re pleased to give our backing to this pioneering and spectacular project, says Jens Bjerg Sørensen, chairman of Salling Fondene.
New subterranean gallery space, the artwork The Dome and The Annual ARoS Pavilion
The Next Level, developed in collaboration with Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects, consists of several elements: an extension comprising a subterranean gallery space covering one thousand square metres and the gigantic work The Dome by James Turrell, fifteen metres high with a diameter of 40 metres plus an unimpeded view to the skies, will offer an international unique art experience suffused with great spiritual sensibility. The extension will be connected to the existing building by an entrance from level 3.
Another element in the project’s next phase is The Annual ARoS Pavilion, which will be located between the museum and The Dome. The plan is, each year, to construct a new non-permanent pavilion designed by some of the world’s most innovative architects. The Annual ARoS Pavilion will function as an interim recurring stage for different kinds of social interaction, talks, concerts, new exhibitions, and performances. It will provide a basis for new interesting collaborative projects between the city’s cultural institutions, associations, and grassroots. Moreover, there will be an opportunity to create a new urban space close to the museum and the surrounding institutions.
About James Turrell
Since the 1960s, the American artist James Turrell (b.1943) has worked with light, colour, and spatial installations. Today, he is the world’s leading artist in his field and he has created permanent installations in twenty-six countries. Turrell is a trained psychologist and also studied mathematics, geology, and astronomy. A common feature of his works is to envelop the audience in light and colour controlled by the artist.
James Turrell’s best-known work is Roden Crater – the world’s biggest work of art in an extinct volcano in the Arizona desert. He acquired the crater – four hundred thousand years old and three kilometres wide – in 1979 and since then, it has become a life-long art project. He is building an enormous observatory facilitating the study of the sky’s light qualities over a twenty-four-hour period. Turrell is also known for his Sky Spaces, the first of which was created in 1975. Turrell’s often colourful spatial installations resemble three-dimensional light paintings where he, like a modern-day Michelangelo, connects the earthly with the celestial and body and sentiment with mind and thought.
The total price of the extension project is estimated at just below DKK 200 million, of which Salling Fondene have donated DKK 80 million, the New Carlsberg Foundation DKK 40 million, together with an anonymous donation of DKK 10 million. The rest is financed jointly by the City of Aarhus and ARoS Aarhus Art Museum.
The construction work will be carried out in collaboration with the City of Aarhus, Department of Culture and Citizens’ Services.
The Next Level is expected to open in 2023.
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