Review Round Up: Olafur Eliasson: In Real Life, Tate Modern

Find out what critics made of Tate Modern’s exhibition devoted to the work of the Danish-Icelandic artist.

Ice Watch, Olafur Eliasson and Minik Rosing, installation outside Tate Modern 2018. Photo: Charlie Forgham Bailey. © 2018 Olafur Eliasson and Minik Rosing.

The Observer: **** “It would be hard to think of a more beguiling show than the Olafur Eliasson survey at Tate Modern.”

BBC: *** “There’s no doubt he is a very good artist with important things to say.But this show somehow fails to capture his spirit. It feels disjointed and thin, which is incredible given how prolific Eliasson has been over the years.”

The Guardian: *** “Eliasson’s art, for all its fleeting pleasures – whether it is the highly produced giant kaleidoscopes that spangle the walls with complex and colourful patterns, or which have our reflections sheared and reduplicated in fractal shards, or a work that splits and multiplies our shadows on a far wall – is all I think intended to make us aware of our bodily presence.”

Time Out: ***** “Eliasson is a twenty-first-century master of the sublime – it’s no surprise Caspar David Friedrich is referenced here or that Eliasson has previously been inspired by JMW Turner.”

Evening Standard: **** “There are weaker moments, such as the waterfall outside Tate Modern; which lacks Eliasson’s profound sensory and emotional power. But that’s abundant in the other installations, which distil his ideas about nature and science meeting art, the idea of “seeing yourself sensing”, engaging with others around you, hitting an emotional pitch.”

The Telegraph: *** “When I heard that Olafur Eliasson had created four waterfalls as a public artwork on New York’s East River in 2008, I assumed, not unreasonably, that the Danish-Icelandic artist had somehow bent the force of this tributary of the mighty Hudson to his will, and produced actual waterfalls.”

iNews: “Eliasson is artist as dynamo, a force throwing out a huge number of questions and ideas about our lived environment. Not all translate successfully through art – the room exploring kaleidoscopes is beautiful, but I’m not sure it provoked contemplation or a fresh view of the world, as suggested. Still, I’m glad he’s having them.”

Olafur Eliasson: In Real Life is on display at the Tate Modern until the 5th January 2020.

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