Olafur Eliasson

Olafur Eliasson

The mentor

Published in 2015

Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson describes his works, which span photography, installation, sculpture and film, as “experimental setups”. Eliasson represented Denmark at the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003 and later that year installed The weather project at Tate Modern, London. Take your time: Olafur Eliasson, a survey exhibition, travelled from 2007 to 2010 to various venues, including New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Innen Stadt Aussen (Inner City Out), at Martin Gropius Bau in 2010, involved interventions across Berlin. Similarly, in 2011, Seu corpo da obra (Your body of work) engaged with three institutions around São Paulo and spread out into the city. Eliasson’s projects in public spaces include Green river, carried out in various cities between 1998 and 2001, and the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion (2007), designed with Kjetil Thorsen. The New York City Waterfalls were installed in Manhattan and Brooklyn in 2008. Your rainbow panorama, a 150-metre circular, coloured-glass walkway on top of the ARoS Museum in Aarhus, Denmark, opened in 2011, and Harpa Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre, for which Eliasson collaborated on the façade, was awarded the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award 2013. In 2014, for Riverbed, Eliasson filled a wing of the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, in Denmark, with stones and water to emulate a meandering river. Also that year, he placed 12 large blocks of inland ice outside of Copenhagen’s City Hall Square for Ice Watch. A solo survey by the artist opened in October 2015 at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden. One of Eliasson’s latest projects, Little Sun, a solar-powered lamp developed with engineer Frederik Ottesen for the 1.6 billion people worldwide without  electricity, has already sold 271,000 units. Established in 1995, Eliasson’s Berlin studio  numbers about 80 craftsmen, architects, geometers and art historians. From 2009 to 2014, as a professor at the Berlin University of the Arts, Eliasson led the Institut für Raumexperimente (Institute for Spatial Experiments), an experimental arts education programme.