Olafur Eliasson

Icelandic, born Denmark (Copenhagen, Denmark, 1967)

An Icelandic citizen born in Denmark and now based in Berlin, Olafur Eliasson has created sculptures, installations, and photography all based in the natural world. His nontraditional materials (including stone, moss, water, mist, ice, fire, and light) often evoke the landscape of his native Scandinavia and occasionally intervene directly into the environment.

Eliasson's art, however, is concerned less with ecology than with perception. Most works involve effects that do not exist independently but are completed within the viewer's senses and mind. The experience constantly changes as both viewer and artwork move through time and space. With its seamless union of technology and primal elements, Eliasson's work represents a fulfillment of longstanding artistic ideals and a new direction in contemporary artmaking.


From June 3, 2013, through early 2016, SFMOMA's building on Third Street in San Francisco will be temporarily closed for expansion construction. Selected artworks in our collection are included in a range of off-site exhibitions during this period. We regret that the remainder of the collection will not be available for study during this time.

In the meantime, we invite you to explore a wide selection of our collection online. Please note that the information presented online is subject to revision. Please contact us at collections@sfmoma.org to verify artwork details.

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