Eliasson filled the Guggenheim with colour and sensations

Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson landed at the Guggenheim, in collaboration with Iberdrola, with a multimedia proposal that encouraged the viewer to reflect on their understanding and perception of the physical world around us.

With around thirty works — some of the most important ones already on display and other new pieces created for the occasion — the exhibition Olafur Eliasson. In real life drew our attention to some of the most urgent issues of today through pieces created between 1990 and 2020 — sculptures, photographs, paintings and installations that play with reflections and colour — that question the way we perceive and function in our surroundings.

Using materials including moss, water, ice from glaciers, fog, light and reflective metals, Eliasson showed his deep commitment to society and the environment in an exhibition that could be visited from 14 February 2020 to 11 April 2021.


Eliasson's art comes from his interest in perception, movement, physical experience and sensations. He shows his concern for nature, inspired by the time he has spent in Iceland, his parents' country of origin and a country he has resided in. His Berlin studio, Studio Olafur Eliasson, is a workspace, but also one for meeting and dialogue, which brings together a varied team of experienced craftsmen, architects, archivists, researchers, administrators, chefs, programmers, art historians and specialised technicians.

In 1999, the artist, who is very aware of climate change, captured 30 Icelandic glaciers in a series of photographs he repeated twenty years later, illustrating the impact of climate change on them.

Outside the museum, an over 11-metre-tall waterfall made with scaffolding and a series of pumps, draws the viewer's attention to this piece of nature built in an urban environment. The waterfall pours its waters into the pond behind, reproducing the same sounds and the appearance of a waterfall in the middle of nature.