Widely heralded as one of the most important artists of his generation, Olafur Eliasson nimbly merges art, science, and natural phenomena to create extraordinary multisensory experiences. Challenging the passive nature of traditional art-viewing, he engages the observer as an active participant, using tangible elements such as temperature, moisture, aroma, and light to generate physical sensations. The works assembled for this presentation — the first U.S. survey of this Icelandic artist’s oeuvre — date from 1993 to the present and reflect all facets of his creative practice. Encompassing sculpture, photography, and large-scale immersive installations — including a newly commissioned kaleidoscopic tunnel that envelops the Museum’s steel truss bridge — these groundbreaking projects are intentionally simple in construction but thrilling to behold, sparking profound, visceral reactions designed to heighten one’s experience of the everyday.
This exhibition is organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Lead support is provided by Helen and Charles Schwab and the Mimi and Peter Haas Fund. Generous support is provided by the Bernard Osher Foundation, the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, and Collectors Forum.
Additional support is provided by Patricia and William Wilson III, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the American-Scandinavian Foundation. Support for education programs has been provided by Helen Hilton Raiser in honor of Madeleine Grynsztejn. Media support is provided by Dwell magazine.