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Olafur Eliasson for the First Time in Canada at The MAC

  • Big Bang Fountain, 2014
  • Big Bang Fountain, 2014
June 20, 2017
A philosophy graduate interested in theory, politics and art. Alias of Jelena Martinović.

Throughout his career, the artist Olafur Eliasson has been applying scientific principles in order to explore our relationship to time and space. Producing devices that call upon the mechanisms we use to perceive light and natural phenomena, the artist has been creating immersive experiences that investigate the body, movement and perception of self and the environment. The latest Olafur Eliasson art exhibition will soon be on view at the MAC. Following the same lines that are at the core of the artist’s practice, the exhibition titled Multiple Shadow House will present a selection of significant works dating from 1993 to the present. At once spare and ambitious, these pieces will allow visitors to appreciate the exceptional process of this unique artist.

Portrait of Olafur Eliasson, by Brigitte Lacombe
Portrait of Olafur Eliasson, by Brigitte Lacombe

The Active Audience

A leading figure in the contemporary art scene, Olafur Eliasson is known for making art that is accessible, genuinely exciting and involves the audience in a truly pleasurable way. In the spectacular large-scale projects he’s famous for, he creates art from a palette of space, distance, color and light. Placing spectators in the center of his creations, he allows them to complement these pieces by their presence and active roles they take. Therefore, his installation guides our attention not only to what we see, but also to the way in which we look, creating what the artist calls situations of “seeing yourself seeing”.

Multiple shadow house, 2010
Olafur Eliasson – Multiple shadow house, 2010. Installation view at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York, 2010. Photo: Studio Olafur Eliasson © 2010 Olafur Eliasson

The Exhibition Highlights

The play of light , optical illusions, scientific principles and weather elements are key components of intangible works created by Eliasson. His use of water and light will be specially highlighted in this latest exhibition. The show will open and close with two pieces in which water creates effects of light that in turn evoke opposing time frames – Big Bang Fountain from 2014, using a strobe light to transform a jet of water into an ephemeral sculpture, and Beaty from 1993, presenting the luminous apparition of a shifting rainbow that appears in a curtain of fine mist falling through a beam of light. The installation Multiple Shadow House from 2010, the central piece of the exhibition, is conceived as a free-standing house with the walls made of screens. Showing shadows of visitors from different angles and in a range of colors on both sides of these walls, it reproduces the minimalism of the museum space and allows the audience to witness the incidental and ephemeral shadow-play.

Multiple shadow house, 2010
Olafur Eliasson – Multiple shadow house, 2010. Installation view at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York, 2010. Photo: Studio Olafur Eliasson © 2010 Olafur Eliasson

Olafur Eliasson Art Exhibition at the MAC

The Olafur Eliasson exhibition will propose an experience in which the viewer is immersed in a rarefied, fundamental universe consisting essentially of space, light and movement. The artist’s first exhibition in Canada Multiple Shadow House will be on view at the MAC in Montréal from June 21st until October 9th, 2017. In conjunction with the exhibition, the MAC is organizing two Gallery Talks by curator Mark Lanctôt on Wednesday, June 28th at 6 p.m. (in French) and 7 p.m. (in English), as well as a series of Gallery Talks over the course of the exhibition, by the architect and artist Alexander Pilis on Thursday, June 29th (in English); the independent curator Aseman Sabet on Thursday, July 6th (in French); the art historian Anja Bock on Thursday, August 10th (in English), and the artist Michel de Broin on Wednesday, September 13th (in French). Featured images: Olafur Eliasson – Big Bang Fountain, 2014. Installation view at Moderna Museet, Stockholm, 2015. Photo: Anders Sune Berg © 2014 Olafur Eliasson. All images courtesy of the MAC.