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By taking over entire spaces, installation art has the power to put you right in the middle of a work of art. When you combine that power with an exploration of the wonders of color, you get the spectacular experience of walking through color itself.

 

Olafur Eliasson, Your blind movement, 2010 — Installed at Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, 2010 — Photo by Jens Ziehe — Source: olafureliasson.net

This type of installation is one of the specialties of Olafur Eliasson, a Danish-Icelandic artist who focuses on elements such as light, color, perception, water and weather phenomena.

He began his career in the 1990s and from the start he created works that surround visitors with color, especially yellow at the time:

Olafur Eliasson, Room for one color, 1997 — Installed at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan, 2009 — Source: olafureliasson.net

Working on the effects of color changes on the eye, he created several rooms in which screens enclose visitors in ever-changing colors:

Olafur Eliasson, 360° room for all colors, 2002 — Installed at Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany, 2004 — Photo by Jens Ziehe — Source: olafureliasson.net

Olafur Eliasson, Your colour memory, 2004 — Installed at Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo, 2004 — Photo by Fin Serck-Hanssen — Source: olafureliasson.net

Then he enhanced the experience by using fog to materialize color around visitors:

Olafur Eliasson, Your atmospheric colour atlas, 2009 — Installed at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan, 2009 — Source: olafureliasson.net

Olafur Eliasson, Feelings are facts, 2010 — Installed at Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, 2010 — Source: olafureliasson.net

Eliasson also explores natural phenomena, and in one of his most famous works he combined his interests in the weather, light and color to create the illusion of a sun inside the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern in London, bathing visitors in the glorious orange color of a sunset:

Olafur Eliasson, The weather project, 2003 — Installed at Tate Modern, London, 2003 — Photo by Andrew Dunkley & Marcus Leith — Source: olafureliasson.net

After the sun, Eliasson tackled nature’s most colorful phenomenon, in a circular creation that enables visitors to walk inside a rainbow and see the world through its colors as they move.

 Olafur Eliasson, Your rainbow panorama, 2006-2011 — Installed at ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Denmark, 2011 — Source: Panoramio

Olafur Eliasson, Your rainbow panorama, 2006-2011 — Installed at ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Denmark, 2011 — Source: olafureliasson.net

With these works, Eliasson has established himself as one of the leading artists creating installations based on light, color, perception and nature. He is, of course, one among many, and in the next post I’ll be looking at the master of them all.