Olafur Eliasson: In real life

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The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao presents from February 14 the exhibition Olafur Eliasson: In real lifeThis is a journey through the career of Olafur Eliasson (born in 1967), one of the most influential artists of our time. An exhibition that brings together some of his most important creations, already on display, as well as pieces created for the occasion that testify to his deep commitment to society and the environment. Eliasson's research on reality and perception makes us reflect on our impact on the world.

Olafur Eliasson places the viewer's experience at the heart of his art. Olafur Eliasson: In real life questions us on some of the most burning issues of the day through some thirty works created between 1990 and today: sculptures, photographs, paintings and installations play with reflections and colours.

The exhibition sheds light on the way we perceive our environment and evolve within it, provoking our reflection on burning issues of current interest. Using materials such as foam, water, polar ice, fog, light or reflective metals, sometimes located in unexpected spaces, whether on the street or within the museum, Eliasson encourages the viewer to reflect on his understanding and perception of the physical world.

Eliasson's art stems from his interest in perception, movement, sensory experience and the sense of individuality. At the heart of Eliasson's artistic work is a central concern for nature, linked to his experience of Iceland; his exploration of geometry; and his ongoing research into how we perceive, feel and shape the world around us. Eliasson's practice extends beyond the creation of artworks and exhibitions to interventions in public space and architectural projects.

Convinced that art can have a direct impact on the world beyond the museum, Eliasson has created solar lamps for communities without electricity, designed art workshops for refugees and asylum seekers, created art installations to raise public awareness of the climate emergency and, in October 2019, was appointed United Nations Development Programme Goodwill Ambassador.

According to Olafur Eliasson, "art is not the object, but corresponds to what the object does to the world".

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Photo: Brigitte Lacombe, 2016 © 2016 Olafur Eliasson

"Eliasson has broadened the role of the artist beyond the gallery and museum by integrating a multidisciplinary perspective that incorporates professionals from fields as diverse as science, architecture, business, politics, dance and cuisine. In her work, which unfolds in paintings, photographs, sculptures and large installations, the Scandinavian artist studies the relationships between the real and the artificial, perception and experience. His work is characterised by giving the viewer a protagonist role, allowing him to address many of the challenges of our society and offering him different experiences that aim, in Eliasson's words, to "take part in the world". One of these challenges, on which the artist and Iberdrola are in total agreement, is the need to accelerate sustainable development and act now to curb climate change. It is no coincidence that the works in this exhibition, often focusing on the environment and sustainability, make use of nature and its elements. The artist places materials such as wood, water or moss at the disposal of our senses so that we can feel the nature that humanity is destroying. In recognition of his efforts to raise awareness of the effects of global warming, Eliasson was recently appointed Goodwill Ambassador for Climate Action and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). "

Meeting with the artist, Olafur Eliasson on February 12 at 6:30 pm: In preparation for the opening of his exhibition Olafur Eliasson: in real lifethe Danish Icelandic artist will talk about his work and his creative process, as well as the many multidisciplinary projects he is developing internationally. Climate, public space, architecture, food or migration are some of the topics that will be discussed.

www.guggenheim-bilbao.eus

  • Commissioners : Mark Godfrey, Senior Curator, International Art, Tate Modern, and Lucía Agirre, Curator, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
  • With the support of Iberdrola
  • Exhibition organized by the Tate Modern in collaboration with the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

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