Olafur Eliasson, Your rainbow panorama, 2006-2011. Installation. ARoS Arhus Kunstmuseum, Denmark. Courtesy of the artist.
MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology

Olafur Eliasson: 2014 Recipient of Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts

Award includes artist residency, pop-up exhibitions, public lecture, 100,000 USD prize and gala

MIT Students to work on Olafur Eliasson’s Little Sun project

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Council for the Arts at MIT
77 Massachusetts Avenue, E15-205
Cambridge, MA 02139




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  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is pleased to announce that Olafur Eliasson is the recipient of the 2014, 40th anniversary Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT, presented by the Council for the Arts at MIT.

    The award, which includes a 100,000 USD cash prize and a campus residency, celebrates innovative talents in all arts disciplines and is one of the most generous cultural honors in the United States.

    Olafur Eliasson’s critically acclaimed works have appeared in and been collected by major museums around the world since 1997. In 2003 he installed The weather project in Tate Modern, London, which was seen by more than two million people. Take your time: Olafur Eliasson, a survey exhibition organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, traveled until 2010, stopping in New York at MoMA and the Dallas Museum of Art. Seu corpo da obra (Your body of work), 2011, engaged with three institutions around São Paulo and spread into the vast metropolis. 

Eliasson’s projects in public space include The New York City Waterfalls, commissioned by Public Art Fund in 2008 with the support of Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Harpa, the Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre, for which Eliasson created a crystalline façade, was inaugurated in August 2011 and received the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture Mies Van Der Rohe Award in 2013.

    Together with engineer Frederik Ottesen, Eliasson developed Little Sun, a solar-powered light for use in areas of the world without access to electricity. Little Sun was launched at Tate Modern as part of the London 2012 Festival, has been presented at events around the world and will be a special project during Eliasson’s residency at MIT.

    Established in 1995, his studio today numbers about seventy craftsmen, architects, geometers and art historians. In April 2009, as a professor at the Berlin University of the Arts, Olafur Eliasson founded the Institut für Raumexperimente (Institute for Spatial Experiments), a five-year experiment in arts education located in his studio in Berlin.

The official announcement is made at the Council for the Arts at MIT’s 41st annual meeting on October 24, and Eliasson will be presented with the award at a gala in his honor on March 13, 2014.

    Read more about the Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT and check back for updated information about public programs, student activities and pop-up exhibitions on the MIT campus through March 2014.

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