Olafur Eliasson

(b. 1967)

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(1967– )

Danish/Icelandic installation artist, born in Copenhagen. He now lives and works in Berlin. He is noted for spectacular crowd‐pleasing displays which invoke something of a sense of the sublime in nature. The most famous is The Weather Project (2004), in which the vast turbine hall of Tate Modern was dominated by an artificial sun (made out of two hundred single filament light bulbs) while the ceiling was covered with mirrored panels to increase its apparent height and double the illuminated half circle of the artificial sun. A light fog was introduced which enhanced the sense that the walls were insubstantial. The installation attracted over a million visitors, many of whom lay on the floor to experience the work. After it was removed, Eliasson said that, as visiting it had become a ritual, the removal ‘preserved its integrity as an artistic project’. The element of the unexpected is important to the artist. In a number of cities he has surprised residents who discover that the river has suddenly turned green for the day. In 2008 he constructed four artificial waterfalls for New York.

Further Reading

C. Diehl, ‘Northern Lights’, Art in America (October 2004)

Subjects: Art.

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