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Ólafur Elíasson. Untitled (Mandala 6), 2016. Courtesy of the artist and i8 Gallery, Reykjavik

Olafur Eliasson’s new satellite studio in Iceland is open to the public 0

Q&A with Thorlákur Einarsson, associate director of the i8 Gallery (Reykjavik)

In March of this year Reykjavik’s new visual art centre opened in the Marshall House, a former fish processing plant. The building is now home to three institutions: the artist-run initiatives Kling og Bang Gallery and The Living Art Museum as well as the Studio Ólafur Elíasson. This is the second studio of the well-known Danish-Icelandic artist, and it is open to the public.

View of Studío Ólafur Elíasson, Reykjavik. Courtesy of the artist and i8 Gallery, Reykjavik

At his studio in Berlin, Elíasson’s team works together with him to develop, produce and install works of art, projects and exhibitions, and they also collaborate on experimentation, research, publishing, education and communications. The Reykjavik studio, however, will operate as a small and informal structure that serves as a space for thinking and experimentation in direct response to the Icelandic context.

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As Elíasson has said himself: “I’ve always felt emotionally very connected to Iceland. Its landscape and unique light conditions have been a strong source of inspiration and an environment in which to test artistic ideas – almost like a studio situation itself. Now I am consolidating this studio feeling by giving it a space.”

Ólafur Elíasson. Pebbles on the Beach, 2017 (detail). Courtesy of the artist and i8 Gallery, Reykjavik

According to Thorlákur Einarsson of the i8 Gallery, which represents Elíasson, it is still too early to judge how the Reykjavik studio’s artistic production will differ from that of the artist’s Berlin studio. However, “The intention, of course, is to produce works from start to finish in Iceland, completely sourced by Icelandic materials. This is the case with Pebbles on the Beach (2017) and other works in line to be produced.”

We also asked Einarsson what principles will be followed when creating the public exposition at the new studio. He responded: “Note that the Reykjavik studio is not a permanent exhibition in any way, but rather a more experimental space, where the visitor will be able to see and enjoy recent work from the artist’s studio. This gives cause to revisit the studio every so often, to see what changes have been made.”

Ólafur Elíasson. Untitled (Spiral), 2017. Courtesy of the artist and i8 Gallery, Reykjavik

Interestingly, the view from the Marshall House opens onto one of the symbols of modern-day Iceland, the Harpa concert hall and conference centre, whose glass façade was designed by none other than Ólafur Elíasson.

Open Tuesdays to Sundays 12–6 pm and until 9 pm on Thursdays;