Olafur Eliasson (Icelandic, born 1967)
Olafur Eliasson
For the past six years, Olafur Eliasson has photographed his native Icelandic landscape. Arranged in grid-like configurations, the images record geographical formations that are characteristic of the terrain. Each series focuses on a single aspect of the land–ice, islands, or caves. Within these groups, individual photographs document specific places at particular moments. But when viewed together, the works describe broader themes. Nature is shown in a process of constant change. Shifting patterns of light, shape, and color emerge when pictures hang side-by-side, and the specifics of a single image give way to an overall subtlety and abstraction. Eliasson's task is not simply to document the details of nature but to foster a more complete visual experience that transcends the subject.
This summer Eliasson returned to Iceland to begin a series on caves. For fourteen days he repeatedly descended into the earth's narrow passageways. Being surrounded by the earth became an almost natural state for the artist, who learned to adapt to extreme isolation. Work from this trip is presented for the first time in this exhibition
Olafur Eliasson was born in Hafnarfjordür, Iceland, and lives in Berlin.

The ice series. 1997
Chromogenic Color Prints (8 1/2 x 13 1/4" each)
Collection Rebecca and Alexander Stewart
Courtesy Bonakdar/Jancou Gallery, New York

© 1998 The Museum of Modern Art, New York.