Olafur Eliasson: Artist Portrait

Olafur Eliasson

Born 1967.
Interested in selling a work by Olafur Eliasson?
Request an Estimate

Works by Olafur Eliasson at Sotheby's

Past Lots

Olafur Eliasson Biography

Olafur Eliasson’s large-scale installation art utilizes the ephemeral and elemental—light, water, fog, air temperature—to immerse and engage spectators in meditations on sensation and perception. Often working in collaboration with architects, engineers, theorists and writers, Eliasson’s vast and varied oeuvre also encompasses sculpture, painting, photography, film, site-specific work, architectural projects, education and policy-making, among other endeavors. Throughout, Eliasson’s predominating interest is in translating the concerns of art to society at large.

Eliasson was born in 1967 in Copenhagen, Denmark, to Icelandic Parents. He studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, earning his degree in 1995. Upon graduating, he established Studio Olafur Eliasson, a “laboratory for spatial research,” in Berlin. The multidisciplinary studio, along with numerous projects with architects like Einar Thorsteinn and Sebastian Behmann, have carved out a distinctively collaborative space for Eliasson in the contemporary art world, with work that transcends traditional artistic media. For Green River (1998-2001), Eliasson poured green nontoxic dye into the rivers running through Los Angeles, Stockholm, Tokyo and other international cities to highlight their turbulence and vitality. In 2003, The Weather Project, an immersive recreation of sun, sky and fog, was installed in the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern in London, drawing over 2 million visitors. From 2009 to 2014, as a professor at the Berlin University of the Arts, Eliasson led the Institute for Spatial Experiments, and, in 2012, Eliasson and engineer Frederik Ottesen founded Little Sun, a global project to provide clean affordable energy to communities without access to electricity. Most recently, Eliasson and Behmann established Studio Other Spaces in Berlin, an architectural counterpart to Studio Olafur Eliasson.

Today, Eliasson lives and works between Copenhagen and Berlin. Studio Olafur Eliasson currently employs over 100 people as craftsmen, architects, archivists, researchers, historians and technicians. He is the recipient of numerous awards, most recently the Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT (2014). His work is in the collections of institutions around the world including the Museum of Modern Art and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the Tate Gallery, London, and the Kunstmuseum Basel.

Read More

Olafur Eliasson Videos and Stories

Museums with Works by Olafur Eliasson

We use our own and third party cookies to enable you to navigate around our Site, use its features and engage on social media, and to allow us to perform analytics, remember your preferences, provide services that you have requested and produce content and advertisements tailored to your interests, both on our Site as well as others. For more information, or to learn how to change your cookie or marketing preferences, please see our updated Privacy Policy & Cookie Policy.

Artist Image: 2015 Mathis Wienand
Please note that prior performance of the indexes and realized returns contained herein does not guarantee future results. In addition, there is no guarantee that random collections of individual works of art or stocks will yield index returns. We are not financial advisors and we are not in the business of recommending art as an investment. We also have no comparative advantage in forecasting the future direction of the art market. Investment decisions should be based on the risk return tolerance and time horizon of the investor with, if desired, the support of a licensed financial advisor. This information is provided "as is" and with no representations or warranties either express or implied of accuracy, merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose or of any other nature are made with respect to this information or to any expressed views presented in this information.