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Havana Biennial 2019: Constructing the Possible Ocula Report Havana Biennial 2019: Constructing the Possible 17 Apr 2019 : Federica Bueti for Ocula

I first visited Havana in November 2016, a few days after Fidel Castro died, and just under a year before Hurricane Irma hit Cuba in September 2017. Since then, much has changed, including the hand-painted signs that punctuate the journey from the airport to the city centre, which today do not celebrate the revolution so much as the 'Unidad y...

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Andrew Stahl and Guo Xiaohui Ocula Conversation Andrew Stahl and Guo Xiaohui

The exhibition Beyond Boundaries at Somerset House in London (12 March–2 April 2019) marked the historic contributions of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CAFA) and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, on the occasion of their 100th and 150th anniversaries, respectively. Spread across several rooms of Somerset House's...

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The National 2019: New Australian Art Ocula Report The National 2019: New Australian Art 13 Apr 2019 : Elyse Goldfinch for Ocula

The National 2019: New Australian Art features work by 70 contemporary Australia-based artists split across three venues: the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) (29 March–21 July 2019), as curated by Isobel Parker Philip, curator of photographs at AGNSW; Daniel Mudie Cunningham,...

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Olafur Eliasson

b. 1976, Denmark

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.

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.

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Featured Artworks

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Quiet Winter Light by Olafur Eliasson contemporary artwork Olafur EliassonQuiet Winter Light, 2019 Coloured glass (yellow fade, light blue), colour-effect filter glass (pink), gold, driftwood
75 x 116 x 12 cm
PKM Gallery
Slow Winter Light by Olafur Eliasson contemporary artwork Olafur EliassonSlow Winter Light, 2019 Coloured glass (orange fade, blue), coloured glacial-rock-flour glass (medium green), driftwood
76 x 116 x 12 cm
PKM Gallery
Infinite conversation (lunar infinity) by Olafur Eliasson contemporary artwork Olafur EliassonInfinite conversation (lunar infinity), 2017 31 glass spheres, silver, stainless steel, paint ( black)
73 x 188.5 x 20.5 cm
PKM Gallery
Pivotal study by Olafur Eliasson contemporary artwork Olafur EliassonPivotal study, 2018 Glass spheres, silver, paint (black, white), stainless steel
164 x 164 x 31 cm
PKM Gallery
Submergence mirror by Olafur Eliasson contemporary artwork Olafur EliassonSubmergence mirror, 2017 Coloured glass (light blue), coloured glacial-rock-flour glass (light green), silver, driftwood
105.5 x 75 x 12 cm
PKM Gallery
Pebbles on the beach (parquet) by Olafur Eliasson contemporary artwork Olafur EliassonPebbles on the beach (parquet), 2017 Maple, ash, oak, larch, cedar, apple, pear, cherry, elm, American walnut, French walnut, smoked oak
275 x 360 x 7 cm
PKM Gallery
Colour experiment no.32 by Olafur Eliasson contemporary artwork Olafur EliassonColour experiment no.32, 2010 Oil on canvas, plastic
75 x 75 x 37.5 cm
PKM Gallery

Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, That Which is Not Drawn at Marian Goodman Gallery, London
Closed
25 January–23 February 2019 Group Exhibition That Which is Not Drawn Marian Goodman Gallery, London
Contemporary art exhibition, Olafur Eliasson, Models for coexistence at PKM Gallery, Seoul
Closed
20 April–20 June 2017 Olafur Eliasson Models for coexistence PKM Gallery, Seoul
Contemporary art exhibition, Olafur Eliasson , We have never been disembodied at Vitamin Creative Space, Beijing
Closed
13 March–12 July 2015 Olafur Eliasson We have never been disembodied Vitamin Creative Space, Beijing

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

Local to Global: Gallery Weekend Beijing 2018 Ocula Report Local to Global: Gallery Weekend Beijing 2018 13 Apr 2018 : Bowen Li for Ocula

Gallery Weekend Beijing was first staged in 2017 on a number of premises, including the fact that Beijing needed an annual event with international appeal to maintain its place as an art destination after the rise of successful art fairs, and an increasing number of museums, in other regional cities like Shanghai and Hong Kong. As its title...

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All Hail Xu Zhen: Report From Art021, Shanghai 2014 Ocula Report All Hail Xu Zhen: Report From Art021, Shanghai 2014 1 Dec 2014 : Sam Gaskin for Ocula

ART021 takes its name from the Shanghai dialing code. The numbers serve as a synonym for the city, but only for people calling from within China—from outside the country, you’d call +8621. Still, 021 make more sense for this fair. Founded in 2013 by local PR director Bao Yifeng and former gallery director Kelly Ying, ART021’s...

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In Related Press

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Was Olafur Eliasson Bringing 30 Icebergs to London a Sustainability Own Goal? Related Press Was Olafur Eliasson Bringing 30 Icebergs to London a Sustainability Own Goal? Frieze : 14 December 2018

Does it vex you, the environmental impact of Olafur Eliasson's Ice Watch? Do you hear about the transportation of 30 icebergs from the Nuup Kangerlua fjord in Greenland to be displayed in London as a memento mori for our inhabitable environment and judge the project a bit of an own-goal, sustainability-wise? You would not be alone – on personal...

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'We Had to Create Something New': Klaus Biesenbach on Inventing the Berlin Biennale Related Press 'We Had to Create Something New': Klaus Biesenbach on Inventing the Berlin Biennale ARTnews : 7 June 2018

Many of the art spaces in early '90s Berlin were located in vacant, abandoned, often ruined buildings that artists had taken over. Artists were running studio collectives and co-ops, outfitting surprising storefronts, and creating nightclubs and music programs. One very influential artist for me was Daniel Pflumm, who was organizing the...

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Olafur Eliasson opens his new satellite studio in Reykjavik to the public Related Press Olafur Eliasson opens his new satellite studio in Reykjavik to the public Wallpaper* : 15 December 2017

It’s hard for anything to stay hidden for long in Reykjavik. With a population of 120,000, the highstreet feels like a backstreet (albeit a quaintly beautiful one), and everyone knows everyone.In the even less-trodden industrial area to the northwest of the city, where cranes and fish trawlers rhythmically churn up the harbour, and a tinny,...

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Olafur Eliasson on how his light installation at the National Gallery changes perceptions—in more ways than one Related Press Olafur Eliasson on how his light installation at the National Gallery changes perceptions—in more ways than one The Art Newspaper : 27 November 2017

Olafur Eliasson's installation Room for one colour (1997) is the final work in the National Gallery's exhibition Monochrome: Painting in Black and White (until 18 February 2018). The exhibition spans seven centuries and includes 50 works by artists who have—in most cases—deliberately turned to monochrome in their art, whether it me...

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In Related Video

90 tons of glacial ice melt in front of the Paris climate talks Related Video & Audio 90 tons of glacial ice melt in front of the Paris climate talks The Creators Project : 5 December 2015

Eight 11-ton blocks of glacial ice are en route to Paris to make a monumental statement about climate change adjacent to the UN conference on the subject, COP21. An assemblage of boats, cranes, and trucks are transporting the frozen obelisks from from a fjord outside Nuuk, Greenland, to the age-old capital of European culture, courtesy of...

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