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Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson (b. 1967) puts the experience of viewers at the center of his art. Olafur Eliasson: In real life brings to our attention some of today’s most urgent issues through around 30 artworks created by the artista between 1990 and today: sculptures, photographs, paintings, and installations that play with reflections and shifting colors and challenge the way we navigate and perceive our environment. Through materials such as moss, water, glacial ice, fog, light, or reflective metals, Eliasson encourages viewers to reflect upon their understanding and perception of the physical world that surrounds them.

Eliasson’s art grows from an interest in perception, movement, embodied experience, and feelings of self. Central to his artistic practice are his concern with nature, inspired by time spent in Iceland; his research into geometry; and his ongoing investigations into how we perceive, feel about, and shape the world around us. Studio Olafur Eliasson, his Berlin-based studio, is a space for work, but also for encounters and dialogues, that brings together a diverse team of skilled craftsmen, architects, archivists, researchers, administrators, cooks, programmers, art historians, and specialized technicians.

His practice extends beyond making artworks, exhibitions, and public interventions to include architectural projects. Convinced that art can have a strong impact on the world outside the museum, Eliasson has created solar lamps for off-grid communities, conceived artistic workshops for asylum seekers and refugees, created art installations to raise awareness of the climate emergency, and in September 2019, he was named Goodwill Ambassador for the UNDP. “Art,” Eliasson says, “is not the object but what the object does to the world.”

Exhibition organized by the Tate Modern in collaboration with the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

Curators: Mark Godfrey and Lucía Agirre

Visit the Guggenheim Website here for more information

About The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao was the result of an extraordinary partnership between the Basque Institutions and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. More than a decade after its grand opening in October 1997, the Museum is a reality that has exceeded the most ambitious artistic and cultural expectations, and has contributed in an extraordinary way to the urban, economic, and social regeneration of the city of Bilbao and its surroundings.
The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is part of an international constellation of museums, which allows it to access an extensive Permanent Collection comprised from all the works in the Guggenheim collections, including the Bilbao holdings. These works complement one another and, together, offer an in-depth, expanded view of modern and contemporary art.
The Art Program is comprised from presentations from the Permanent Collection and a program of high quality special exhibitions, which offer our audiences a broad and dynamic panorama of the art of our time.
Designed by US architect Frank Gehry, the Museum building is a large sculpture made of titanium, limestone, and glass, and has become the most recognizable icon of the city of Bilbao. The exhibition galleries, some boasting surprising shapes, others with orthogonal configurations, are organized around a spectacular Atrium, crowned with a metalic flower over its skylight.
The complex and mutually enriching dialogue between the art exhibited and the architecture of the building, and the versatility of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao spaces favor a unique museum experience.