Olafur Eliasson returns to Tate Modern
Climate change has been one of the biggest stories of the year and Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson is continuing to bring attention to it with his latest exhibition at Tate Modern.
Bringing together more than 40 works of art made between 1990 and today, Olafur Eliasson: In real life raises Eliasson’s concerns with nature alongside his exploration into geometry and how we perceive and shape the world around us.
With shared experiences at the centre of his art, this is an exhibition to immerse yourself in, whether you’re navigating its mirrored walkways or feeling your way through its fog tunnel. In the 16 years since Eliasson last exhibited at Tate Modern, he’s been celebrated internationally as one of the most exciting artists working today, and this exhibition is understandably one of the best, if not the best, to visit in London right now.
Olafur Eliasson, Your uncertain shadow (colour), 2010
Photo: María del Pilar García Ayensa / Studio Olafur Eliasson Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary Collection, Vienna © 2010 Olafur Eliasson
Curated by Mark Godfrey, Senior Curator, International Art, and Emma Lewis, Assistant Curator, in close collaboration with Studio Olafur Eliasson, it reflects on Eliasson’s time growing up in Iceland, and his career-long investigation of natural phenomena such as water, light and mist. Exhibits include: Moss wall 1994, a vast plane 20 metres wide entirely covered with Scandinavian reindeer moss and Din blinde passager (Your blind passenger) 2010, which is a 39-metre-long corridor full of dense fog that you fumble your way through – you can only see about 1.5 metres ahead of you.
Olafur Eliasson, Moss wall, 1994
Installation view: Tate Modern, London, 2019. Photo: Anders Sune Berg. Courtesy the artist; neugerriemschneider, Berlin; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles © 1994 Olafur Eliasson
Olafur Eliasson, Din blinde passager (Your blind passenger), 2010
Installation view: Tate Modern, London, 2019. Photo: Anders Sune Berg. Courtesy of the artist; neugerriemschneider, Berlin; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles © 2010 Olafur Eliasson
Further works in the show address the impact humans have on the environment, including a series of photographs of Iceland’s glaciers taken by the artist in 1999 alongside photos taken 20 years on, illustrating the changes in the landscape. The Expanded Studio also explores Eliasson’s engagement with social and environmental issues with large collages that represent his studio in Berlin and his concerns over some of the world’s most pressing issues.
Many of his other installations play with reflections, inversions and shifting colours – you’ll want to get your camera ready for these! Highlights include: Your uncertain shadow (colour) 2010, where visitors can pass in front of bright lights and cast colourful shadows on the wall before them, and a selection of the artist’s kaleidoscopic sculptures including Your spiral view 2002 and the newly created Your planetary window 2019.
Olafur Eliasson, Your spiral view, 2002
Installation view: Tate Modern, London, 2019. Photo: Anders Sune Berg
Boros Collection, Berlin © 2002 Olafur Eliasson
Olafur Eliasson, In real life, 2019
Installation view: Tate Modern, London, 2019. Photo: Anders Sune Berg Courtesy of the artist; neugerriemschneider, Berlin; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles © 2019 Olafur Eliasson
Olafur Eliasson: In real life is at Tate Modern until 5 January 2020.