b. 1976, Denmark

Olafur Eliasson Biography

Olafur Eliasson is a Danish-Icelandic artist known for his sculptures and large-scale, immersive installations. Eliasson completed his studies at the Royal Danish Academy of Art in 1995 and relocated to Berlin upon graduating where he established Studio Olafur Eliasson. Today it employs around seventy professionals working in various fields such as architecture, geometry, and art history.

Read More

Eliasson works across a diverse variety of media including sculpture, painting, photography, film, and installation, although it is his installations which have undoubtedly gathered the most attention. Audiences are able to actively engage with Eliasson’s installations which are immersive environments of colour, light, and movement that endeavour to prompt a greater understanding about the way people can engage with and interpret the world. Many of Eliasson’s works seek to inspire public action against climate change.

Eliasson led the Institut für Raumexperimente (Institute for Spatial Experiments) for five years from 2009 during his time as a professor at the Berlin University of the Arts. The artist launched his solar products business at London’s Tate Modern in 2012 alongside engineer Frederik Ottesen. The organisation aims to promote sustainable global development and provides affordable light sources to communities that are without access to electricity.

Eliasson has been the recipient of numerous awards throughout his career including, most recently, a Crystal Award in 2016 for showing commitment to improving the state of the world. In particular praise was given to his works The New York City Waterfalls, Ice Watch, Riverbed, and The Weather Projects. Other awards granted to the artist have included the Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT (2014); the Wolf Prize in Painting and Sculpture (2014); The European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture - Mies van der Rohe Award - alongside Henning Larsen Architects and Batterid (2013); the Joan Miró Prize (2007); and the 3rd Benesse Prize (1999).

In 2007, the first retrospective of Eliasson’s work, Take your time: Olafur Eliasson, was held at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, before travelling to the Museum of Modern Art and PS1 Contemporary Art Center in New York. Olafur Eliasson’s work is held in major public and private collections worldwide, including institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Art Institute of Chicago; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo; Leeum Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and the MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge.

Exhibition view: Olafur Eliasson, Inside the new blind spots, PKM Gallery, Seoul (15 June–30 July 2022). Courtesy PKM Gallery.

Olafur Eliasson Featured Artworks

The colour spectrum series by Olafur Eliasson contemporary artwork installation
Olafur Eliasson The colour spectrum series, 2005 48 colour photogravures
PKM Gallery Enquire
The colour spectrum series by Olafur Eliasson contemporary artwork works on paper, sculpture
Olafur Eliasson The colour spectrum series, 2022 Partially silvered glass spheres, stainless steel, paint (black, white)
113 x 174 x 20 cm
PKM Gallery Enquire
Orbital close encounter by Olafur Eliasson contemporary artwork works on paper, sculpture
Olafur Eliasson Orbital close encounter, 2022 Partially silvered glass spheres, stainless steel, paint (black, white)
113 x 174 x 23 cm
PKM Gallery Enquire
Your polyamorous sphere by Olafur Eliasson contemporary artwork works on paper, sculpture
Olafur Eliasson Your polyamorous sphere, 2022 Coloured glass (yellow, blue), colour-effect filter glass (green), stainless steel, paint (black), LED light, aluminium
PKM Gallery Enquire
Seeing sensitivity flare by Olafur Eliasson contemporary artwork sculpture
Olafur Eliasson Seeing sensitivity flare, 2022 Silvered coloured glass (rainbow spectrum), laminated coloured glass (yellow, purple), composite board, aluminium
188 x 246 x 3.5 cm
PKM Gallery Enquire
Titles are desires in slow motion by Olafur Eliasson contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, drawing
Olafur Eliasson Titles are desires in slow motion, 2022 Watercolour and pencil on paper
173.7 x 142 cm
PKM Gallery Enquire
Feeling backward by Olafur Eliasson contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, drawing
Olafur Eliasson Feeling backward, 2022 Watercolour and pencil on paper
61.6 x 50.2 cm
PKM Gallery Enquire
Herbarium by Olafur Eliasson contemporary artwork works on paper
Olafur Eliasson Herbarium, 2021 Dried and pressed water lilies on Lanaquarelle hand made paper 300gm, framed varnished with day and fluorescent paint
42 x 59.4 cm
Dellasposa Gallery Contact Gallery

Olafur Eliasson Current & Recent Exhibitions

View All (5)

Olafur Eliasson Represented By

Olafur Eliasson In Ocula Magazine

View All (19)

Olafur Eliasson In Related Press

View All (31)

Olafur Eliasson In Video & Audio

Be among the first to know when new artworks and exhibitions by Olafur Eliasson are added to Ocula.
Sign Up