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5 Works by Olafur Eliasson and Where to See Them

5 Works by Olafur Eliasson and Where to See Them

Picture of Benjamin M. Smith
Updated: 14 November 2015
The Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson is a man of many talents, known worldwide for his art installation projects specializing in the manipulation of the basic elements. After establishing Studio Olafur Eliasson in Berlin in 1995, the artist quickly came to prominence for his tendency to engage visitors in his art. Read on to learn more about some of his most famous works.

‘Your rainbow panorama’, in Aarhus, Denmark

Housed on the roof of the ARoS Art Museum in Aarhus, ‘Your rainbow panorama’ blurs the boundaries between an art and nature space. This 150-meter-wide circular walkway depicts all colors of the rainbow, for viewers to view Aarhus in a way they are not accustomed to. This is one of Eliasson’s most signature works, which uses varying degrees of light to complement its breathtaking view of this Danish city.

ARoS Aarhus Art Museum, Aros Allé 2, 8000 Aarhus, Denmark, +45 87 30 66 00

Your black horizon at Lopud, Croatia

‘Your black horizon’ was first unveiled on the island of San Lazzaro degli Armeni, Venice, in 2005, but now resides on the Croatian island of Lopud. It demonstrates the mastery of light, both natural and artificial. Visitors walk down several corridors of differing light sources, whereby the contrast of LED light and natural light separated by the well-placed studs of the wooden structure intensifies the experience of the space as a whole.

Lopud, Croatia

Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavik

Studio Olaur Eliasson was commissioned to create the façades of the Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre in Revkajavík. Their three-dimensional, quasi-brick design is intended to engage viewers through shifts in appearance and color, solely based on the movement of the hall’s visitors. The material used for the façade – crystallized basalt – is native to Iceland, and was the perfect media with which create this appealing symmetrical layer cake.

Harpa – Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre, Austurbakki 2 101 Reykjavík, Iceland, +354 528 5000

The New York City Waterfalls

In a continuation of the artist’s previous work with water, the New York City Waterfalls was a temporary public installation in 2008 on the East River. The four waterfalls were between 30-40 meters in height, and made from a combination of scaffolding, pumps, and hoses to lift the water from its original source. This work highlights Eliasson’s passion in transforming everyday natural elements into exalted exhibits that change the viewer’s perspective of their original inhabited space.

‘The Weather Project’ at the Tate Modern in London

As one of Eliasson’s most famous works, ‘The Weather Project’ at the Tate Modern explored ideas of experience and mediation during its time in the Tubine Hall, from 2003-2004. Through the manipulation of monofrequency lights, Eliasson successfully recreated a blazon sun, whose singular effect on its location challenged visitors’ perspectives. A haze machine intensified the effect of the mock sun, creating a desert-like atmosphere right on the banks of the Thames.

Tate Modern, Bankside, London, UK, +44 20 7887 8888

By Benjamin Smith