Yesterday was Nick's birthday and Austin was still on winter break from school, so we all played hookie and spent the afternoon at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, which is having the most amazing exhibition right now featuring the work of Danish/Icelandic conceptual artist Olafur Eliasson.
Eliasson is known for his mindbending multimedia and multisensory work, which employs sculpture, photography, geometry, and science and jolts viewers out of their normal, passive interaction with art by tweaking the temperature, moisture level, color, illumination, and even the scent of his exhibit spaces.
Unfortunately, photography isn't allowed inside the museum, and the watchful stare of several security guards was enough to keep my camera tucked safely in my purse. And though there are a few pictures of the Eliasson exhibit on the museum website, they don't really do his creations justice. Happily, a quick flickr search turned up photosets from several intrepid SFMOMA visitors.
Take a look:
In the museum's rotunda, you're greeted by Ventilator, a whirring fan suspended from a cable and swinging low enough overhead to make you instinctively duck. It's a fitting introduction to the Eliasson exhibit, which is all about interactivity -- as well as placing visitors outside of their physical comfort zone.
The One-Way Color Tunnel is a stunning kaleidescope in the form of an enclosed bridge suspended high above the entrance rotunda.
Photo by solupine
Beauty consists of streams of mist and a prismatic light show, both of which rain down on visitors.
The Waterfall Series is comprised of 50 color-filtered waterfall prints, each unique and yet all of a piece.
The 360 Degree Room for All Colours cycles through the entire color spectrum, with observers' silhouettes becoming part of the visual experience.
In Notion Motion, raised floorboards are employed like piano keys and image prompts, creating both musical notes and projected waves when they're stepped on.
The image-refracting facets of Multiple Grotto create a kaleidoscopic view of its own bisecting angles.
Your Mobile Expectations is a space-age vehicle constructed of steel and ice, housed in a walk-in freezer.
The Model Room showcases small-scale models and prototypes of Eliasson's installations as well as modestly sized creations, such as the faceted light fixture above. It's a fascinating glimpse into the artist's mind at work -- not to mention a collection of breathtaking geometric objects.
SFMOMA's Olafur Eliasson show runs through February 24, after which it will tour various museums around the country. If you're in the area, move earth and sea to catch it before it's gone.
And whether you're in the area or not, the exhaustive and beautiful exhibit catalog, Take Your Time: Olafur Eliasson ($50), would be a worthy addition to your bookshelf or coffee table.