Studio Sunday: Olafur Eliasson
Our Studio feature this Sunday is Olafur Eliasson. Eliasson is a Danish artist who is well-known for his large-scale installation works, which are often placed in public spaces and sometimes harness natural elements such as sunlight, water and ambient temperature as a part of the work. In 1995, Eliasson founded Studio Olafur Eliasson in Berlin, a space in which the artist and around 90 assistants and employees work together to experiment with spatial artworks as well as exhibitions and publications related to Eliasson’s work.
Studio Olafur Eliasson seems to be a very warm and inviting place to work. Or, at least, the lighting in this photo gives that impression. I love the brick walls, the round windows and the way that the artist and his employees have used shelves full of supplies and mock-ups to create divisions in the room, rather than keeping the space as a single large warehouse.
Pictured here at night, the studio is decked out with some of Eliassion’s works on the ceiling, functioning as beautiful statement lamps. A studio assistant is working at the shared desk in the center of the room, which really lends to the appeal of this studio as a shared, modern office-type space in addition to its artistic functions. Due to the varied nature of Eliasson’s practice, it’s likely that many of his works are fabricated and installed in museum spaces or on location. Particularly complex pieces might be built elsewhere. As such, this studio is a space for brainstorming and experimenting with artwork and ideas. Perhaps some of the smaller works come back here when they are not on display or in other collections.
It’s interesting to see a studio space like this that functions more as a group workspace than a single artist’s space. Less like the factory-studios of Jeff Koons or Damien Hirst, this reminds me more of the way that Yinka Shonibare or Theaster Gates conduct their studios – as evolving group projects.