Olafur Eliasson, the Danish Icelandic conceptual artist, was named this summer’s guest artist for the Palace of Versailles. Since 2008, the palace has invited artists, including Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami, Giuseppe Penone, and Lee Ufan, to create and exhibit works in dialogue with the Palace’s gardens.
Eliasson is known for large-scale installations that reference nature, such as The Weather Project at Tate Modern in 2003 and The New York City Waterfalls (for which the artist installed artificial waterfalls under the Brooklyn Bridge in 2008).
In a statement, Eliasson said he is excited to use the provided landscape: “I am thrilled to be working with an iconic site like Versailles. As the palace and its gardens are so rich in history and meaning, in politics, dreams, and visions, it is an exciting challenge to create an artistic intervention that shifts visitors’ feeling of the place and offers a contemporary perspective on its strong tradition.”
The tranquility of Eliasson’s work may serve as a respite from a recent brouhaha at the Palace. Last year, Dirty Corner (a piece from Anish Kapoor’s contribution) was vandalized for having ostensibly controversial content.