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  • Provenance

    Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York

  • Catalogue Essay

    Running parallel to his output in sculpture and installation, Eliasson’s photographic work clearly manifests his enduring ties to his native environment. He spends several months each year in Iceland, making an ongoing and now near encyclopedic visual inventory of its indigenous formations: glaciers, caves, islands, rivers. In many of these images an individual form, such as an ice patch is isolated, centered and photographed head-on. The uncropped picture is shown in plain frame, the straightforward presentation invoking the stylistic language of the objective documentary. Each photograph records with crystalline clarity the bracing details and textures of a particular thing or place seen under the even light of a nebulous sky. As in the sculptures, legibility is crucial here: any dramatic or ‘picturesque’ potential of the subject matter is purposefully suppressed. In exhibition, these individual photographs usually function as part of a larger ensemble, being grouped according to subject types and displayed in an overall, non-hierarchical grid pattern. Looked at one at a time, each of them displays in rich detail the idiosyncratic features of a particular aspect of nature. When they are configured as a group, becoming co-dependent, their more formal aspects come to the fore, such as their equality of scale, their generally similar forms and shapes, the overall consistent horizon line that turns the ensemble into a lateral composition of alternating sky-white and earth colours. They then engage in a continual back and forth between individuality and uniformity, expressive subjectivity and purported objectivity.
    D. Birnbaum, M. Grynsztejn and M. Speaks, Olafur Eliasson, London, 2002, pp. 59-60

271

Small Cloud Series

2001
Nine color photographs.
13 3/8 x 19 3/4 in. (34 x 50.2 cm) each; 47 1/4 x 67 1/2 in. (120 x 171.5 cm) overall.
Signed "Olafur Eliasson" on a gallery label adhered to the reverse of panel A1. This work is from an edition of six.

Estimate
£40,000 - 60,000 ‡ ♠

Sold for £48,000

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

Evening Sale
13 October 2007, 4pm
London