Olafur Eliasson

Danish-born artist Olafur Eliasson grew up in Denmark and Iceland. Iceland’s unusual terrain profoundly shaped both his interest in nature and his artistic vision. Between 1989 and 1995, he studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, and it was in the 1990s that his work gained international recognition. Using illusionary techniques often combined with simple mechanics, Eliasson manipulated air, water and temperature in his large-scale installations and sculptures to enhance the viewer’s experience of the ordinary with extraordinary results. Eliasson’s 2003 exhibition, The Weather Project, is one example, touching on two main art themes for the early twentyfirst century: “socially engaged [collaboration] and relational art practices.” In that exhibition, audience members were invited to socialize and relax under a glowing artificial sun in a huge installation in the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall. Recently, the Vitra Design Museum also featured Eliasson’s “elemental” design work in these exhibits: the Bauhaus #itsalldesign and in Lightopia. Lightopia illustrated the emotional and visual power of new lighting techniques in Eliasson’s work and how manipulating artificial light profoundly effects our modern living spaces.

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