PREVIEW: Olafur Eliasson: In Real Life, Tate Modern

The artist returns to the gallery for the first time since his installation The weather project in 2003.

Stardust particle,2014, Olafur Eliasson. Tate
Photo: Jens Ziehe, 2017
© 2014 Olafur Eliasson

On display from the 11th July, Tate Modern will present a major retrospective of the artist’s career up until the present day. Marking the most comprehensive survey of Eliasson’s work, this will be his first major survey in the UK.

Olafur Eliasson: In Real Life will allow visitors to immerse themselves in the work of the artist, who is consistently seeking a way to make his art relevant to society, engaging the public in memorable ways both inside and outside the gallery. 

The exhibition will feature over 30 works spanning the last three decades – from celebrated early installations like Beauty 1993, to new paintings and sculptures. It will also examine Eliasson’s wider collaborations in fields as diverse as sustainability, migration, education and architecture.

Each of the installations or group of works will focus on a key theme that the artist has focused on during his career. This will include his early investigations into space, motion and natural phenomena – as explored in Moss wall 1994, featuring lichen native to Eliasson’s homeland Iceland – to extensive experiments with light, colour, geometry, perception and participation that characterise his work today – such as Stardust particle 2016. Other installations like Your spiral view 2002 and Your uncertain shadow (black and white) 2010 incorporate reflections and shadows to play with the way we navigate or perceive the world.

The work will not be confined to the gallery walls, instead art will also be displayed onto the terrace outside Tate Modern, while further installations such as Room for one colour 1997 will animate the concourse outside the galleries.

The exhibition is curated by by Mark Godfrey, Senior Curator, International Art, and Emma Lewis, Assistant Curator, in close collaboration with Studio Olafur Eliasson. 

Olafur Eliasson: In Real Life will be on display at Tate Modern from the 11th July until the 5th January 2020.

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