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Olafur Eliasson

born 1967

Olafur Eliasson

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Olafur Eliasson, born in Copenhagen in 1967 to Icelandic parents, studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts between 1989 and 1995. Eliasson is known for sculptures and large-scale installation art employing elemental materials such as light, water, and air temperature to enhance the viewer’s experience.

Eliasson is known for his large-scale immersive installations in which he explores the boundaries of light and color; intensifying the experience viewers have on his works and altering people’s perception of their surrounding environment. By recreating the sensory effects of Icelandic landscapes in artificial settings like museums, he has transmitted his own physical and emotional relationship with spectacular natural phenomena.

From rainbows glistening in curtains of tumbling water droplets, to echoing rooms steeped in a single saturated color, to reverse waterfalls and walk-through kaleidoscopes, these are marvels of optics, sound, smell and touch. In 1995 he established Studio Olafur Eliasson in Berlin, a laboratory for spatial research. Eliasson represented Denmark at the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003 and later that year installed The Weather Project in the Turbine Hall of Tate Modern, London.

Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation

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