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Olafur Eliasson

Danish-Icelandic  •  b. 1967

Biography

Conceptual artist Olafur Eliasson was born in Copenhagen, Denmark to parents who had emigrated from Iceland. Characterized by a lack of traditional materiality, Eliasson’s work is typically quite simple and clean in appearance. Known for engaging with environmental issues, the artist often creates immersive works that activate the senses beyond just sight. Due to his consistent interest in light, Eliasson’s practice has been compared to both James Turrell and Dan Flavin. 

One of his most popular installations, The Weather Project, 2003, saw Eliasson fill the entirety of Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern with light from an artificial Sun. Another project, New York City Waterfalls, 2008, became one of the most expensive public art installations ever, with a cost exceeding $15 million. The artist has been collected by institutions like the Guggenheim, the Kunstmuseum Basel and the National Gallery of Art, among others.

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