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Olafur Eliasson



(born 1967 in Copenhagen, Denmark) is a Danish-Icelandic artist. In 1995 he established Studio Olafur Eliasson in Berlin, a laboratory for spatial research. Eliasson represented Denmark at the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003 and later that year installed The Weather Project in the Turbine Hall of Tate Modern, London.

Eliasson has engaged in a number of projects in public space, including the intervention Green river, carried out in various cities between 1998 and 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.


Life


Ólafur Elíasson speaking about his exhibition The New York City Waterfalls.

Olafur Eliasson, born in Copenhagen in 1967 to Icelandic parents, studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts.

In 1996, Eliasson started working with Einar Thorsteinn, an architect and geometry expert 25 years his senior. 8900054, the first piece they created, 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 were growing from the ground. Though the effect is an illusion, the mind has a hard time believing that the structure is not part of a much grander one developing from deep below the surface. Thorsteinn's knowledge of geometry and space has been integrated into Eliasson's artistic production, often seen in his geometric lamp works as well as his pavilions, tunnels and camera obscura projects.[1]

Commissioned by Louis Vuitton, lamps titled Eye See You were 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.[2] All fees from the project were donated to 121Ethiopia.org, a charitable foundation established by Eliasson and his wife.

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) organized Eliasson's first major survey in the United States Take Your Time: Olafur Eliasson, on view from September 8, 2007 to February 24, 2008. Curated by Madeleine Grynsztejn (then 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, freestanding sculpture, photography, and special commissions seen through a succession of interconnected rooms and corridors. The museum's skylight bridge was turned into an installation titled One-way colour tunnel.[3]Following its San Francisco debut, the exhibit embarked on an international tour to The Museum of Modern Art, and P.S.1. Contemporary Art Center, New York, 2008; The Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas, 2008-09. It is currently on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, 2009. In 2009-2010 the exhibition will be on view at Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.

As professor at Universität der Künste Berlin, Olafur Eliasson founded the Institut für Raumexperimente, which opened in April 2009.

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Works and Projects



The weather project at Tate Modern, London, 2003.

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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.

Eliasson used humidifiers to create a fine mist in the air via a mixture of sugar and water, as well as a semi-circular disc made up of hundreds of monochromatic lamps which radiated single frequency yellow light. The ceiling of the hall was covered with a huge mirror, in which visitors could see themselves as tiny black shadows against a mass of orange light. Many visitors responded to this exhibition by lying on their backs and waving their hands and legs. The work reportedly attracted two million visitors, many of whom were repeat customers.[3]

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Your black horizon

This project, a light installation commissioned by Thyssen-Bornemisza 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 of illumination - a thin, continuous line of light set into all four walls of the room at the viewers eye-level, serving as a horizontal division between above and below. From June 2007 through October 2008, the pavilion was reopened on the island of Lopud, Croatia near the city of Dubrovnik.

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Your mobile expectations: BMW H2R project

Eliasson was commissioned by BMW in 2007 to create the sixteenth art car for the BMW Art Car Project. Based on the BMW H2R concept vehicle, Eliasson and his team removed the automobile's alloy body and instead replaced it with a new interlocking framework of reflective steel bars and mesh. Layers of ice were created by spraying approximately 530 gallons of water during a period of several 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 2007-08[4] and at the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, in 2008.

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The New York City Waterfalls

Main article: New York City Waterfalls



Waterfall under the Brooklyn Bridge. The bridge in the background is the Manhattan Bridge.

Eliasson was commissioned by The Public Art Fund to create four man-made waterfalls, called the New York City Waterfalls , ranging in a height from 90—120 ft., in New York Harbor. The installation ran from June 26 through October 13, 2008.

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The Parliament of Reality

Dedicated on May 15th, 2009, this permanent sculpture stands at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY. The installation is based on the original Icelandic parliament, Althingi[1], one of the world's earliest democratic forums. The artist envisions the project as a place where students and visitors can gather to relax, discuss ideas, or have an argument. The parliament of reality emphasizes that negotiation should be the core of any educational scheme. The man-made island is surrounded by a 30-foot circular lake, 24 trees, and wild grasses. The 100-foot diameter island is composed of a cut-bluestone, compass-like floor pattern (based upon meridian lines and navigational charts), on top of which 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, creating the effect that visitors are entering a stage or outdoor forum. Frogs gather in this wiry mesh at night, creating an enjoyable symphony