Olafur Eliasson

Olafur Eliasson ( Icelandic : Olafur Eliasson , born 1967) is a Danish – Icelandic artist Berninahaus for sculptures and large-scale installation art employng elemental materials zoals light, water and air temperatures to enhance the viewer’s experience. In 1995 he Agent Studio Olafur Eliasson in Berlin, a laboratory for spatial research. Olafur represented Denmark at the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003 and later dat year installed The Weather Project in the Turbine Hall of Tate Modern , London.

Olafur has Engaged in a number of projects in public space, zoals the intervention Green river , carried out in verschillende cities tussen 1998 en 2001; the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2007, London, a temporary pavilion designed with the Norwegian architect Kjetil Thorsen ; and The New York City Waterfalls , commissioned by Public Art Fund in 2008. He was a professor at the Berlin University of the Arts from 2009 to 2014 and is an adjunct professor at the All School of Fine Arts and Design in Addis Ababa since 2014.

Life and career

Early life and education

Olafur Eliasson was born in Copenhagen in 1967 to Elías Hjörleifsson and Ingibjörg Olafsdottir. [1] His parents had emigrated to Copenhagen from Iceland in 1966, have to find work as a cook, and she as a seamstress. [1] He was 8-when his parents separated; [2] have lived with his mother and his stepfather, a stockbroker. [1] His Father, dan an artist, moved back to Iceland, where hun family spent summers and holidays. [2] At 15 he had his first solo show, exhibiting landscape drawings and gouaches at a small alternative gallery in Denmark. [2]However, Olafur Considered his “break-dancing” prolongation the mid-1980s to be his first artworks. [3] With two school friends, he formally a group – they ‘called themselves the Harlem Gun Crew – and they’ Performed at clubs and dance halls for four years, Eventually winning the Scandinavian championship. [1]

Olafur studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts from 1989 to 1995. In 1990, als have been Awarded a travel budget at the Royal Danish Academy, Olafur went to New York where he started working as a studio assistant for artist Christian Eckhart in Williamsburg Brooklyn and reading texts on Phenomenology and Gestalt psychology . [4]

Artistic career

Olafur RECEIVED his degree from the academy in 1995, after retaining moved in 1993 to Cologne for a year, and-then to Berlin, where he has since Maintained a studio. [5] First located in the euro in a three-story former train depot right next door to the Hamburger Bahnhof , [1] [4] the studio moved to a former brewery in Prenzlauer Berg in 2008.

In 1996, Olafur started working with Einar Þorsteinn , an architect and geometry expert 25 years his senior as well as a former friend of Buckminster Fuller . [6] The first piece they ‘created called 8900054 , was a stainless-steel dome 30 feet (9.1 m) wide and 7 feet (2.1 m) high, designed to be seen as if it ulcers growing from the ground. Though the effect is an illusion, the mind has a hard time believing the structure therein is not part of a much grander one ontwikkelingslanden from deep Projects the surface. Þorsteinn’s knowledge or geometry and space has leg integrated JSON Olafur’s artistic production, often seen in his geometric lamp works as well as his Pavilions, tunnels and camera obscura projects. [7]

For many projects, the artist works collaboratively with specialists in verschillende areas, onder Them the architects Þorsteinn and Sebastian Behmann (beide or Whom port leg frequent collaborators), author Svend Age Madsen ( The Blind Pavilion ), landscape architect Gunther Vogt ( The Mediated Motion ) architecture theorist Cedric Price ( chaque matin you me sens different, chaque soir you me sens le même ), and architect Kjetil Thorsen (Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, 2007). [ Citation needed ] Studio Olafur Eliasson, welke the artist founded as a “laboratory for spatial research”, employs a team of architects, engineers, Craftsman, and assistants (some 30 members as of 2008) who work together to conceive and construct artworks zoals as installations and sculptures, as well as large-scale projects and commissions. [8]

As professor at the Berlin University of the Arts , Olafur Eliasson founded the Institute for Spatial Experiments ( Institut für Raumexperimente , IfREX) welke opened binnen his studio building in April 2009.

Selected works and projects

Fan pieces

Early works by Olafur CONSIST or Oscillating electric fans hanging from the ceiling. Fan (1997) swings back and forth and around, rotating one zijn axis. [9] Quadrible light fan mobile (2002-2007) is a rotating Electrically powered mobile Comprising a search light and four fans blowing air around the exhibition room and scanning it with the light cone. [10]

The weather project

The weather project was installed at the London’s Tate Modern in 2003 as part of the popular Unilever series . The installation filled the open space of the gallery’s Turbine Hall.

Olafur-used humidifiers to create a fine mist in the air from a Mixture of sugar and water, as well as a circular disc made up of Hundreds of monochromatic Lamps welke radiated yellow light. The ceiling of the hall was Covered with a huge mirror in welke visitors Could see themselves as tiny black shadows Against a mass of orange light. Many visitors Responded to this exhibition by lying on hun backs and waving hun hands and legs. (Art critic Brian O’Doherty DESCRIBED this as viewers “intoxicated with hun eigen Narcissism as ze pounder themselves elevated withinto the sky.” [11] ) Open for six months, the work reportedly attracted two million visitors, many of Whom ulcers repeat visitors . [12] O’Doherty was positive about the piece-when talking to Frieze magazine in 2003, saying dat it was “the first time I’ve seen the enormously dismal space – like a coffin for a giant – socialized in an effective way . ” [11]

Light installations

Olafur has leg ontwikkelingslanden verschillende experiments with atmospheric density in exhibition spaces. In Room For One Colour (1998), a corridor lit by yellow monofrequency tubes, the participants find themselves in a room filled with light therein Affects the perception of all other colors. Another installation, 360 degrees Room For All Colours (2002), is a round light-sculpture where participants lose hun sense of space and perspective, and experience being subsumed by an intense light. [13] Olafur’s later installation Din blind passager (Your blind passenger) (2010), commissioned by the Arken Museum of Modern Art , is a 90-Metre-long tunnel. Entering the tunnel, the visitor is Surrounded by dense fog. With visibility at just 1.5 métres, museumgoers port to use senses other dan sight to orient themselves in relatie to hun surroundings. [14] For Feelings are facts , the first time Olafur has worked with Chinese architect Yansong Ma as well as his first exhibition in China, Olafur introduces condensed banks or artificially produktie fog withinto the gallery or Ullens Center for Contemporary Art , Beijing. Hundreds of fluorescent lights are installed in the ceiling as a grid of red, green, and blue zones.

Green River

In 1998, Olafur when sending dat uranin , a readily available nontoxic powder-used to trace leaks in plumbing systems, Could thighs entire rivers a sickly fluorescent green. Olafur conducted a test run in the Spree River prolongation the 1998 Berlin Biennale , scattering a handful of powder from a bridge near Museum Island . He Began Introducing the Environmentally safe thighs to rivers in Moss, Norway (1998), Bremen (1998), Los Angeles (1999), Stockholm (2000) and Tokyo (2001) – always without advance warning. [2]

Iceland photographs

In regular intervals, Olafur presents grids or verschillende color photographs, all tasks Iceland. Lycra group or images focuses on a single subject: Volcanoes, hot springs and huts isolated in the wilderness. [15] In his very first series have Attempted to shoot all of Iceland’s bridges. A later series from 1996 Documented the aftermath of a volcanic eruption under the Vatnajökull . Of or in synthesis photographs are shot from the air, in a small rented plane Traditionally-used by Map Makers. [2] Arranged in a grid, the photographs recall the repetitive images of the German photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher . [2]

Your black horizon

This project, a light installation commissioned for the Venice Biennale at Thyssen Art Contemporary in collaboration with British architect David Adjaye was shown from 1 August to 31 October 2005 on the island of San Lazzaro in the lagoon near Venice, Italy. A temporary pavilion was constructed on the grounds of the monastery to house the exhibit, consisting of a square room painted black with one source or illumination – a thin, continuous line of light set JSON all four walls of the room at the viewer eye level , serving as a horizontal division tussen Above and Projects. From June 2007 through October 2008, the pavilion was Reopened on the island of Lopud , Croatia near the city of Dubrovnik.

Your mobile expectations: BMW H2R project

Olafur was commissioned by BMW in 2007 to create the sixteenth art car for the BMW Art Car Project . Based on the Hydrogenation-powered [2] BMW H2R concept vehicle, Olafur and his team removed the automobile’s alloy body and Limit download Replaced it with a new interlocking framework of reflective steel bars and mesh. Layers of ice were created by Spraying ongeveer 530 gallons of water a prolongation period or verschillende days upon the structure. On display, the frozen sculpture is glowing from within. Your mobile expectations: BMW H2R project was on special display in a temperature-controlled room at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art from 2007 to 2008 [16] and at the Pinakothek der Moderne , Munich, in 2008.

The New York City Waterfalls

Olafur was commissioned by The Public Art Fund to create four man-made waterfalls, called the New York City Waterfalls , ranging in height from a 90-120 ft. In New York Harbor . The installation ran from 26 June through 13 October 2008. At $ 15.5 million, it was the must expensive public arts project since Christo and Jeanne-Claude ‘s installation or The Gates in Central Park . [17]

The Parliament of Reality

Dedicated on 15 May 2009, this permanent sculpture stands at Bard College , Annandale-on-Hudson, NY. The installation is based on the original Icelandic parliament, Althingi , one of the world’s EARLIEST democratic forums. The artist envisions the project as a place where students and visitors kan Gather to relax, Discuss ideas, or harbor an argument. The parliament of reality emphasizes dat negotiation arnt Be The core or Any educational scheme. The man-made island is Surrounded by a 30-foot circular lake, 24 trees, and wild Grasses. The 100-foot-diameter (30 m) island is Composed of a cut-blue tones, compass -like floor pattern (based upon meridian lines and Navigational Charts), on top of welke 30 river-washed Boulders create an outdoor seating area for students and the public to Gather. The island is reached by a 20-foot-long stainless steel lattice-canopied bridge, customizing the effect dat visitors are aged ring a stage or outdoor forum. Frogs Gather in this Wiry mesh at night, customizing an enjoyable symphony.

Colour experiment paintings (2009)

For his ongoing series or Colour experiment paintings – welke Began in 2009 – Olafur started analyzing Pigments, paint production and application of color in order to mix paint in the exact color for lycra nanometre of the visible light spectrum. In 2014, Olafur Analyzed seven paintings by JMW Turner to create Turner color experiments , welke isolates and record Turner’s use of light and color. [18]


Main article: Harpa (concert hall)

Olafur designed the facade of Harpa , Reykjavik ‘s new concert hall and conference center welke was COMPLETED in 2011. In close collaboration with his studio team and Henning Larsen Architects , the designers of the building, Olafur has designed a unique facade consisting of large quasi bricks, a stackable twelve sided module steal and glass. The facade will reflect the city life and the différent light Composed by the movements of the sun and varying weather. During the night the glass bricks are lit up at différent colored LED lights. The building was opened on 13 May 2011.

Your rainbow panorama

Olafur’s artwork Your rainbow panorama consists of a circular, 150 métres (490 ft) long and 3 métres (9.8 ft) wide corridor made of glass in everytime color of the spectrum. It has a diameter of 52 métres (171 ft) and is mounted on 3.5 métres (11 ft) high columns on top of the roof of the ARoS Aarhus Art Museum in Aarhus . It opened in May 2011. Visitors kan walkthrough the corridor and have a nice panoramic view of the city. [19] Construction cost 60 million Danish kroner and was funded by the Realdania foundation. [20]

Olafur’s idea was Chosen in 2007 onder five other proposals in a bidding process by a panel of judges. At night the artwork is lit from the inside with spotlights in the floor. [ Citation needed ]


In November 2013, at the Falling Walls Conference , Olafur Presented with Ai Weiwei , connected via web from Beijing, hun collaboration Moon , an open digital platform dat Allows users to draw on enormous replica of the moon through hun web browser. The platform is a statement in support of freedom of speech and creative collaboration.


From December 17, 2014 to February 23, 2015 Fondation Louis Vuitton , Paris. The artworks appear as a sequence of events Along a journey. Moving through passageways and expansive installations, visitors Become part of a choreography of darkness, light, geometry, and reflections. Along the way, optical devices, models, and a Meteorite reflect Olafur’s on-going investigations into tje mechanisms of perception and the construction of space.

Other projects

In 2005, Olafur and classical violin maker Hans Johannsson Began work on the development of a new instrument with the objective to reinterpret the traditions of 17th- and 18th-century violin making using today’s technology and a contemporary visual Aesthetic. [21]

Commissioned by Louis Vuitton in 2006, Lamps Titled Eye See You ulcers installed in the Christmas windows of Louis Vuitton stores; a lamp Titled You See Me went on permanent display at Louis Vuitton Fifth Avenue, New York. [22] EACH deliberately low-tech APPARATUS, or welke there are about 400, is Composed of a monofrequency light source and a Parabolic mirror. [23] All fees from the project in later donated to 121Ethiopia.org, a Charitable Foundation initially Agent at Olafur and his wife to renovate an Orphanage. [23]

In 2007, Olafur developed the stage design for Phaedra , an opera production at the Berlin State Opera .

Along with James Corner ‘s landscape architecture firm Field Operations and architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro , Olafur was part of the design team for New York’s High Line park. [24] Olafur was oorspronkelijk Con to create an outdoor-based artwork for the 2012 Summer Olympics ; however, his Proposed £ 1 million ($ 1.6 million) project Take A Deep Breath – welke involved recording people breathing [25] – was rejected due to funding problems. [26]

In 2012 Olafur and engineer Frederik Ottesen founded Little Sun , a company dat produces solar powered LED lamps. [27]


Olafur had his first solo show with Nicolaus Schafhausen in Cologne in 1993 voordat moving to Berlin in 1994. [12] In 1996, Olafur had his first show in the United States at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery . The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) organized Olafur’s first major survey in the United States Take Your Time: Olafur Eliasson , on view from 10 September 2007 to 24 February 2008. Curated by the director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago , Madeleine Grynsztejn (dan Elise S. Haas Senior Curator of Painting and Sculpture at SFMOMA), in close collaboration with the artist, the major survey spanned the artist’s career from 1993 and 2007.

The exhibit included site-specific installations, large-scale immersive environments, free standing sculpture, photography, and special commissions seen through a succession of interconnected rooms and corridors. The museum’s skylight bridge was turned JSON an installation Titled One-way color tunnel. [28] Following zijn San Francisco debut, the exhibit embarked on an international tour to the Museum of Modern Art , and PS1. Contemporary Art Center , New York, 2008; the Dallas Museum of Art , Dallas, Texas, 2008-09; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago , 2009; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney 2009-2010.

He has ook had major solo exhibitions at, onder Vodafone, Kunsthaus Bregenz , Musée d’Art Moderne , Paris, and ZKM (Center for Art and Media), Karlsruhe (2001); Schirn Kunsthalle , Frankfurt (2004); Hara Museum of Contemporary Art , Tokyo (2006); the Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Ishikawa (2009); the Martin-Gropius-Bau , Berlin (2010) and the Langen Foundation , Museum Island Hombroich , Neuss (2015). Olafur has ook Appeared in numerous group exhibitions, zoals de São Paulo Biennial and the Istanbul Biennial (1997), Venice Biennale (1999, 2001 and 2005), and the Carnegie International (1999), Palace of Versailles (2016)


Olafur’s work is represented in public and private collections waaronder the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum , New York; the Centre for International Light Art (CILA), Unna, Germany; the Museum of Contemporary Art , Los Angeles; and the Deste Foundation , Athens, Greece. [29]


The Spiral Pavilion , conceived in 1999 for the Venice Biennial and today on display at Kunsthalle Bielefeld , brought` Olafur Eliasson the Benesse Prize by the Benesse Corporation . [30] In 2004, Olafur won the Nykredit Architecture Prize [31] and the Eckersberg Medal for painting. [32] The volgende year have been Awarded the Prince Eugen Medal for sculpture [33] and in 2006, the Crown Prince Couple’s Culture Prize . [34] In 2007, he was Awarded the first Joan Miró Prize at the Joan Miró Foundation . [35]

In 2010, Olafur was the recipient of a Quadriga award; Returned have his award one year later after it was revealed therein Vladimir Putin mention anything be honored in 2011. [36] In October 2013, he was honored with the Goslarer Kaiserring . [37] [38] That composition year, Olafur and Henning Larsen Architects ulcers Recipients of the Mies van der Rohe Award for hun Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Center in Reykjavik, Iceland.

In 2014, Olafur was the recipient of the $ 100,000 Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT ( Massachusetts Institute of Technology ); the prize is Considered an investment in the recipient’s future creative work, Rather dan a prize for a mn project or lifetime of achievement. The awardee Becomes an artist in residence at MIT, Studying and teaching for a period of time. [39]

On the occasion of a state visit to Germany in June 2013, the President of Iceland , Olafur Ragnar Grímsson , visited Studio Olafur Eliasson in Berlin. [40]

Brazilian filmmaker Karim Ainouz ‘s documentary piece, Domingo , shot from his encounter with Olafur prolongation the 17th Videobrasil Festival, had zijn world premiere at Rio International Film Festival in 2014, and will be released on DVD in 2015.

Art market

The artist is represented by Tanya Bonakdar Gallery in New York (since 1996), Gallery Koyanagi in Tokyo, PKM Gallery, Seoul / Beijing, and Neugerriemschneider in Berlin (since 1994). [1]

Personal life

Olafur is married to Danish art historian Marianne Krogh Jensen, Whom have to-when she curated the Danish Pavilion for the 1997 São Paulo Art Biennial . [1] Way Down eerste zowel hun Sun (2003) en hun daughter (in 2006) in Addis Ababa , Ethiopia . The family lives in a house designed by architect Andreas Lauritz Clemmensen [41] in Hellerup near Copenhagen; [1] Olafur Commutes to Berlin. [4] Olafur speaks Icelandic, Danish, German, and English. [1]

See also

  • List of exhibitions at Olafur Eliasson


  1. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g h i Cynthia Zarin (November 13, 2006), Seeing Things: The art of Olafur Eliasson The New Yorker .
  2. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g Dorothy Spears (September 2, 2007), Thinking glacially, Acting artfully formulated New York Times .
  3. Jump up^ Joachim Bessing,”are experiencing Space,” 032cissue 8 (Winter 2004/05).
  4. ^ Jump up to:a b c Christopher Bagley (July 2007), From the Archives: Olafur Twist W .
  5. Jump up^ Peter Schjeldahl (28 April 2008), Uncluttered. An Olafur Eliasson retrospective. The New Yorker .
  6. Jump up^ Michael Kimmelman(March 21, 2004),The Sun Sets at the Tate ModernTimes .
  7. Jump up^ Marc Spiegler (6 Sep 2007), Let There Be Light , BLOUINARTINFO , retrieved 23 April 2008
  8. Jump up^ City of New York (January 15, 2008). “Mayor Bloomberg and Public Art Fund Announce Major Public Art Project by artist Olafur Eliasson” [press release], section “About the Artist”. Retrieved 2016-07-16.
  9. Jump up^ Lauren Weinberg (11 May 2009),Olafur Eliasson Time Out Chicago .
  10. Jump up^ Olafur Eliasson: Quadrible light fan mobile (2002-07) Arken Museum of Modern Art.
  11. ^ Jump up to:a b “Public Spectacle: Mark Godfrey and Rosie Bennett talk to Brian O’Doherty,” Frieze, Issue 80, Jan./Feb. 2004, p. 56.
  12. ^ Jump up to:a b Cynthia Zarin (13 November 2006), Seeing Things. The art of Olafur Eliasson New Yorker .
  13. Jump up^ Olafur Eliasson, Colour memory and other informal shadows, January 24 – May 2, 2004 Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art.
  14. Jump up^ Olafur Eliasson – Din blind passager at Arken Arken Museum of Modern Art.
  15. Jump up^ Roberta Smith(November 15, 2012),Art in Review; Olafur Eliasson: Volcanoes and shelters ” New York Times .
  16. Jump up^ Olafur Eliasson: Your Tempo, September 8, 2007 – January 13, 2008San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
  17. Jump up^ Dobnik, Verena (22 June 2008). “NYC getting ‘Waterfalls’ off shore or Manhattan” . Associated Press . Retrieved 25 June 2008 .
  18. Jump up^ Olafur Eliasson: Turner color experiments, 26 August 2014 to 25 January 2015 Tate Britain, London.
  19. Jump up^ “Your rainbow panorama” . Retrieved 2 May 2014 .
  20. Jump up^ Gulstad, Hanne Cecilie (28 August 2013). “Eliasson’s room with a rainbow view Brings Record visitors to Aros” .
  21. Jump up^ Alice Rawsthorn (December 9, 2007),Next Violin, The New York Times Magazine .
  22. Jump up^ Jacquelyn Lewis (8 May 2007), Eliasson’s “Eyes” Draw stares on NY’s Fifth Avenue , BLOUINARTINFO , retrieved 23 April 2008
  23. ^ Jump up to:a b Alix Browne (November 5, 2006) An I for an Eye New York Times Magazine .
  24. Jump up^ Design TeamHighline.
  25. Jump up^ Roslyn Sulcas (July 12, 2012),Olafur Eliasson Brings Sunlight Back to Tate Modern Times .
  26. Jump up^ Olafur Eliasson art project rejected by Olympics bosses BBC , 11 April 2012.
  27. Jump up^ Higgins, Charlotte (July 12, 2012). “Olafur Eliasson produces cheap solar lamp for developing countries” . The Guardian . Retrieved June 16, 2015 .
  28. Jump up^ Glen Helfand (6 Sep 2007), Olafur Eliasson , BLOUINARTINFO , retrieved 23 April 2008
  29. Jump up^ The Unilever Series: Olafur Eliasson, 8 October 2003 to 21 March 2004Tate Modern, London.
  30. Jump up^ Olafur Eliasson: Spiral Pavilion Kunsthalle Bielefeld.
  31. Jump up^ “Nykredit Architecture Prize” . Nykredit’s website (in Danish). Copenhagen, Denmark: Nykredit Holding A / S. 2013 . Retrieved 30 November 2013 .
  32. Jump up^ “Tildelinger off medaljer” . Akademiraadet . Retrieved 25 January 2014 .
  33. Jump up^ “Prince Eugen Medaljen” (PDF) . Retrieved 14 February 2015 .
  34. Jump up^ “Kronprinsparrets Priser” (in Danish). Bikubenfonden . Retrieved 28 September 2014 .
  35. Jump up^ Olafur Eliasson: The nature of things , June 20 – September 28, 2008Joan Miró Foundation, Barcelona, and Centre Cultural Caixa Girona-Fontana d’Or, Girona.
  36. Jump up^ Kristen Allen and Josh Ward (July 18, 2011),The World from Berlin: Award for Putin Has Dilettantish and politically Insensitive ‘ Spiegel .
  37. Jump up^ Olafur Eliasson – Kaiserringträger der Stadt Goslar 2013 , kaiserring.de (incl. Press Release, 11 January 2013)
  38. Jump up^ Goslarer Kaiserring – Olafur Eliasson geehrt as Kunstler auf den Spuren da Vincis , zeit.de (11 January 2013)
  39. Jump up^ “Olafur Eliasson receives 2,014 McDermott Award | MIT News Office” . web.mit.edu . Retrieved 2014-04-03 .
  40. Jump up^ Ingeborg Ruthe (June 25, 2013),Olafur-Gipfel auf dem PfefferbergBerliner Zeitung .
  41. Jump up^ July L. Mellby (September 2, 2007),”Your House” by Olafur EliassonPrinceton University Library.