The exceptional permanent outdoor installation MAKlite by the world-famous American artist James Turrell fills the MAK with an inner light which simultaneously illuminates the historistic façade of the building at Stubenring.
MAK – Museum of Applied Arts
In close cooperation with the artist, the latest LED technology was applied to the lighting technology, developed by the Florentine artificial lighting specialist Targetti. Using the current technical possibilities, Turrell expanded the original color range to a multifaceted luminous play of colors. The reprogramming now comprises ten instead of the original four colors and can be seen in the evenings from sunset till 10 pm.
As part of the VIENNA ART WEEK, on the evening of 21 November 2018 MAKlite was presented in this refined version with cutting edge technology for the first time.
Turrell’s installation illuminates the MAK’s window apertures uniformly with intense light. At the same time, starting from the central risalit, it pulsates—according to a color scheme precisely determined by Turrell—around the entire wing, permeating the static unity of the massive brick façade.
As is characteristic of James Turrell’s works, the MAK installation creates an experience that dissolves the boundaries between reality and virtuality. Without materially altering the listed façade, like a form of contemporary iconography, Turrell’s design articulates both the museum’s architectural history and its substantive purpose as an institution for art.

Project Coordinator
Bärbel Vischer, Curator, MAK Contemporary Art Collection
James Turrell: Magician of Light
James Turrell (* 1943) is one of the most important artists of our time. For more than half a century, he has been working with light and space, creating works of art that confront the viewer with the limits and possibilities of human perception. Dispensing almost entirely with materiality and objectuality, through physical precision he masterfully blends reality and virtuality. He gives space to light itself, creating apparently hovering spaces out of light.
The MAK and James Turrell
As early as 1998, the MAK devoted the large-scale solo exhibition The other Horizon to James Turrell (MAK Exhibition Hall, 2.12.1998 – 21.3.1999). James Turrell developed the concept for MAKlite as a part of the exhibition in cooperation with the former Director of the MAK, Peter Noever. At the same time as MAKlite was installed on the façade of the MAK in 2004, the skyspace The other Horizon, developed for the exhibition of the same name, was erected in the park of the MAK Branch Geymüllerschlössel in Vienna’s 18th District.
Since 2004, the skyspace The other Horizon (1998) has been permanently open to visitors during the Geymüllerschlössel’s opening hours.