Art Vent

Letting the Fresh Air In

Olafur Eliasson: Reviews of the MoMA exhibition

April 25, 2008 - 6:23pm -- Carol Diehl

Olafur Eliasson, Eye See You, 2006, lamp, installed in a window at Louis Vuitton 5th Avenue & 57th Street, NYC. (Photo: Carol Diehl)

“But I guess he's like James Turrell—you need to experience it to truly appreciate it, pictures and words just ain't gonna cut it.”

This from a comment on my last post about Olafur Eliasson, which made me think of my first post ever, almost a year ago, about how sometimes the knowledge we have about what to expect from art (or anything) can interfere with the actual experience. There I told about how, when I tried to shush up the guy sitting next to me in Turrell’s Olafur Eliasson, Your Mobile Expectations, 2007. (Photo: SFMOMA)

I'm with Peter Schjeldahl who wrote in The New Yorker: "Here's someone for whom beauty is normal. His character suggests both the mental discipline of a scientist with the emotional responsibility of a poet."

The MoMA exhibition is entitled Take your time…on purpose. And you can only experience Eliasson’s work fully by seeing the installations at both MoMA and PS1, only 15 minutes apart on the E and the V. And if, in between, you need sustenance, there’s the downscale and tasty Gaw Gai Thai Express at 23-06 Jackson Ave, LIC, across and a little down the street from PS1. I think it has an orange awning.

For reference:

Steve Psyllos, New York Arts, May 7, 2008

Peter Schjeldahl, "Uncluttered," The New Yorker, April 28, 2008

Holland Cotter, "Stand Still; A Spectacle Will Happen, The New York Times, April 18, 2008

Daniel Kunitz, "In Brilliant Color," The New York Sun, April 18, 2008.

Linda Yablonsky, "Don't Believe Your Eyes: Eliasson's Illusion Act at MoMA, P.S. 1," Bloomberg, April 18, 2008

Charlie Finch, "Fake it 'Til You Make It," Artnet

Cynthia Zarin, "Seeing Things," The New Yorker, November 13, 2006.

Carol Diehl, "Olafur Eliasson at Tanya Bonakdar" (review), Art in America, December, 2006.

Carol Diehl, "Northern Lights," Art in America (cover article), October, 2004.

Madeleine Grynsztjen et. al., Take Your Time: Olafur Eliasson (exhibition catalog), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art/ Thames and Hudson, 2007.


Oh wow, a sentence from me inspired a post! I just read your original post and I hope you've made peace with those asymmetrical handles and they're no longer driving you nuts. Thing is, when I first looked at that pic I thought, "What she is talking about, those are gorgeous," and then I noticed it. Would drive me nuts as well. :)

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