Euroluce – the exhibition of light – comes around every second year at Salone del Mobile, where visitors to the fairground can expect to see the best, brightest and most innovative solutions for interiors and exteriors, in the field of light. To celebrate the year of Euroluce, we spotlight a collaboration that we're most looking forward to, between esteemed lighting brand Louis Poulsen, and renowned Danish artist Olafur Eliasson.
The Danish lighting brand have kept their cards close to their chest this year, revealing only a few details about what to expect at their Rho Fiera stand. What they have revealed however, has caught our attention.
Last month, Louis Poulsen announced their collaboration with Danish-Icelandic artist, Olafur Eliasson, on a new large-scale pendant light which will be revealed for the first time at Milan Design Week. What we know is, in true Louis Poulsen style of using geometry to shape light, the collaboration reinforces Louis Poulsen and Eliasson’s shared belief that good light = good life.
‘Light has been central to my artistic practice for over twenty-five years. I keep returning to it and its many qualities as a source of inspiration, in my artworks and in my solar powered lamps. Light shapes everything; it determines what we do and how we do it. Quality lighting is essential to our lives. A concern for the emotional and physical effects of lighting is at the core of the lamp that I have conceived for Louis Poulsen. It is my hope that this this geometric sculpture will bring new light to your daily life.’ – Olafur Eliasson.
Eliasson’s impressive career as artist and thinker spans an array of creative disciplines from painting and sculpture, to media and film, with much of his work exploring the common ground between art and science. We're eager to get to the fairgrounds and head straight to the Louis Poulsen stand to see the result of this unique and powerful collaboration, but in the meantime we’re doing our research and increasing our anticipation by taking a look over some of Eliasson’s past projects, in which light has been integral.
Den Indre Himmel, 2018//
Den Indre Himmel is the first permanent building designed by Olafur Eliasson and Sebastian Behmann, with the architectural team of Studio Olafur Eliasson. The building, which serves as the Denmark headquarters of investment firm Kirk Kapital, is an imposing structure. A large sphere occupies the oculus of the boardroom, creating a connection between the interior space and the sky above. The work’s shell is a spherical lattice, formed by two concentric frameworks made of coiling steel tubes, that supports numerous triangular steel panels that fill the interval between the two layers; the steel elements are powder-coated matte white. The top of the sphere emerges through the roof, where it is sheltered from the rain and wind by a hemispherical glass dome. Sunlight is directed onto the sphere by a heliostat during the day; artificial light illuminates the work from within during the hours of darkness. The passage of light through the work’s spiral structure and between the triangular panes casts a complex pattern of light and shadow into the room below.
Tomorrow Resonator, 2018//
The central component of each of these simple optical instruments is a ring of bevelled glass. Originally part of a Fresnel lens, the glass was designed for use in a lighthouse to gather stray beams of light and send them out at a consistent angle, thereby enhancing the light produced. Here this ability to treat light as a malleable material is used to paint bands of pale colour on the wall. From the beginning of his career, Eliasson has been interested in producing artworks that function as experimental set-ups; these works are examples of this approach.
The exploration of the centre of the sun, 2017//
Light shines out from the centre of an asymmetrical polyhedron that hangs from the ceiling, illuminating the work itself and casting variegated patches of light and shadow around the room. The form combines a rhombic dodecahedron (a polyhedron with twelve rhombic faces) with an icosahedron (which has twenty triangular faces). The result is a complex, not-quite symmetrical polyhedron that stimulates the viewer to move around the work and examine it from multiple angles. The black powder-coated stainless-steel frame incorporates panes of iridescent colour-effect-filter glass, which reflect light of a single colour while allowing the remaining light (which is of the complementary colour) to pass through. A solar panel on the gallery roof powers LEDs mounted on a slowly rotating armature suspended within the work’s core. The highly reflective, colour-limiting panes of glass multiply the light countless times, producing a galaxy-like array of shifting stars in a variety of colours.
Aurum sphere, 2015//
Aurum sphere is an open sphere produced through the interplay of two black stainless-steel spirals that coil in opposite directions, one inside the other. This framework supports swirling ridges of black and gold, which are composed of innumerable triangles that populate the interval between the two spirals and encompass a hollow core filled with light from two LED lamps at the poles. Each of these triangles is a pane of hand-blown black glass, one side of which has been covered in gold leaf. As the viewer moves about the work, the shifting angle of her view alters the relative positions of the triangles and the gaps between them, causing the sphere to appear as if it were constantly changing.
Gravity Stairs, 2014//
In Gravity stairs, visitors traverse a stairway beneath an enormous, schematic model of our solar system created through an arrangement of mirrors and lit ring segments. Visitors and stairway are both reflected in the ceiling mirror, opening up a cavernous space above that is populated by reflections of the spectators. A wall mirror duplicates the work, projecting an echo of the model onto the other side of the looking glass, with the large sun hovering between. Thus, visitors to Gravity stairs encounter two sets of planets: one that bridges actual and reflected space, and another located entirely within the mirrors. By mirroring the visitor as well as the rings, the vast reflective environment subsumes the spectator within the artwork, highlighting the unique impact achieved by her presence. In this way, the work builds upon the artist’s interest in the solar system, not as a given fact that must be accepted as such, but rather as a model capable of assuming myriad subjective forms. The work reflects the possibility for coexistence between the various, individual worldviews that we each project in toto onto our fragmented physical experience.
Find Louis Poulsen in Hall 24, Stand C01, C21, E02, E20 at Salone del Mobile.
Images and caption information courtesy of olafureliasson.net/