The internationally acclaimed artist Olafur Eliasson has been captivating audiences with his kaleidoscopic practice since the early 1990s. This fall Phaidon will publish Olafur Eliasson: Experience (October 22, 2018; $85 US/$110 CAN), the most comprehensive monograph on his career to date. Eliasson’s art is driven by his interests in perception, movement, embodied experience, and feelings of self. He consistently seeks to make his art relevant to society at large, engaging with the public in striking ways both inside and outside the gallery walls. He works in a range of media—painting, sculpture, photography, lm, installation, architectural projects, and ambitious interventions in urban spaces. For Eliasson, the potential of art is created by the viewer’s own participation in—and experience with—the artwork. Conceived in close collaboration with the artist and his studio team, Olafur Eliasson: Experience tracks nearly three decades of the artist’s practice and contains over 500 illustrations of his wide-ranging work. The overall chronolog- ical progression, which features accessible short texts on over one hundred of individual works, is punctuated by double-page grids that group together works such as compasses, watercolors, spheres, color experiments, glass pieces, and geometric models. The book includes Eliasson’s well known, large-scale projects like The weather project (2003), which drew over two million visitors to London’s Tate Modern; The New York City Waterfalls (2008), set up in New York Harbor and the East River; Green river (1998), which involved pouring—without advance warning—a water-soluble dye into various urban and rural waterways in a number of cities around the world; and Ice Watch (2014), which brought enormous blocks of glacial ice to public squares in Copenhagen and Paris, making palpable the urgency of climate change. Alongside architectural works like Your rainbow panorama (2006–11) and Cirkelbroen (2015), Olafur Eliasson: Experience also showcases smaller artworks, from delicate pieces in glass, metal, and wood to a range of works on paper. The book closes with recent works, among them Reality projector and The unspeakable openness of things, installed in spring 2018 in Los Angeles and Beijing respectively.
Bound in a vibrant yellow cloth emblazoned on the back with an image of Beauty (1993), Olafur Eliasson: Experience opens with an perceptive essay by Michelle Kuo, a curator at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and former editor in chief of Artforum. Kuo describes how much of Eliasson’s practice evokes the Gesamtkunstwerk, or total work of art, by “constructing immersive and multisensory environments in order to elicit and perturb our impressions of color, light, sound, and material.” A conversation between the artist and his long-time collaborator Anna Engberg-Pedersen gives new insight into his creative process, as do exclusive photographs of his Berlin studio, where Eliasson works with more than a hundred team members. A full chronology completes the monograph. Engaging and timely, Olafur Eliasson: Experience is the ultimate companion to one of the most multi-faceted and influential artists working today. This bold volume will be published ahead of a major retrospective opening at the Tate Modern, London in July of 2019 and will appeal to contemporary art enthusiasts worldwide.