Olafur Eliasson

3D Fivefold Symmetry 2001
Teak
Approx 101.6cm dia

Olafur Eliasson

Born 1967 Copenhagen, Denmark
Lives and works in Copenhagen and Berlin

Olafur Eliasson frequently uses materials that are elemental and ephemeral: light, heat, moisture, steam, and ice for example are often manipulated by him towards aesthetic ends and in response to a specific site to explore a space between nature and technology, the organic and the industrial. The components of Eliasson's installations are often industrially produced to create an experience that is physical, sensory, and emotional.

With basic materials and little technical extravagance, the individual components of Olafur Eliasson's installations, are strictly functional. The simplicity of his materials expands the range of implications his works evoke. For example, his most well known installation The Weather Project installed at Tate Modern in 2003 filled the open space of the gallery's Turbine Hall with representations of the sun and the sky. Olafur Eliasson used humidifiers to create a fine mist in the air via a mixture of sugar and water, as well as a semi-circular disc made up of hundreds of mono-frequency lamps which emitted pure yellow light. The ceiling of the hall was covered with a huge mirror, in which visitors could see themselves as tiny black shadows against a mass of orange light.
A simplicity of materials and execution with lyrical expression is characteristic of Eliasson's work.  Although his exploration of light as a fundamental premise of energy, ranges from the abstract (the perception of nature) to the concrete (the electricity supply) his interest in this relationship has resulted in this instance in a work that is far from ephemeral, the sculpture 3D Fivefold Symmetry 2001, a multi-faceted teak sculpture that owes something to fractal geometry, the area of mathematics that is directly relevant to the study of nature.