The Icelandic artist transforms the museum’s Terrace Bar into his Berlin kitchen and serves up vegetarian meals
Olafur Eliasson. Photo: Runa Maya Mørk Huber / Studio Olafur Eliasson
Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson might be best known for his impactful, environmentally concerned artworks, such as The Weather Project, where he flooded Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall with fake sunlight. But he’s equally passionate about food. Every day in his Berlin studio, located in a massive former brewery, Eliasson’s staff congregates at long tables for a multicourse vegetarian meal cooked on-site by a team of chefs.
Guests frequently drop by, including his neighbor Ai Weiwei and René Redzepi, of Noma fame, to name a few. Eliasson is also the author of Studio Olafur Eliasson: The Kitchen (Phaidon), which is filled with recipes, poetry, and musings from the studio. This summer, art lovers will get the chance to experience his culinary philosophy at Tate Modern, which is hosting a major retrospective that brings together more than 30 works from three decades of his practice.
Installation view of “Olafur Eliasson: In Real Life” at Tate Modern. Photo: Anders Sune Berg
Installation view of Tate Modern’s Terrace Bar featuring artworks and lamps by Olafur Eliasson. Photo: Anders Sune Berg
Coinciding with the show, Eliasson will turn the museum’s Terrace Bar into a version of his Berlin kitchen. Fuel up on vibrant, vegetarian-focused dishes sourced from local farms before exploring the dynamic works in the exhibition, including a disorienting, nearly 150-foot tunnel of dense fog and his Room for One Colour.
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Baby turnip, baby radish, golden beetroot house ferments. Labneh with borage, whipped butter, roasted red pepper humous and red pepper dip served with rye sourdough or focaccia and spiced carrot soup with toasted grains and preserved lemon served at the Terrace Bar as part of Studio Olafur Eliasson Kitchen’s collaboration with Tate Eats. Photo: Alcuin Stevenson / Studio Olafur Eliasson
Olafur Eliasson, In real life, 2019. Photo: Anders Sune Berg; Courtesy of the artist; neugerriemschneider, Berlin; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles
Olafur Eliasson Room for One Colour, 1997. Installation view at PinchukArtCentre, Kiev, 2011. Photo: Dmitry Baranov; Courtesy of the artist; neugerriemschneider, Berlin; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles
Olafur Eliasson, Your Spiral View, 2002. Installation view at Fondation Beyeler, Basel, Switzerland, 2002. Photo: Jens Ziehel; Boros Collection, Berlin
Olafur Eliasson in collaboration with Einar Thorsteinn, Model room, 2003. Photo: Anders Sune Berg; Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Purchase 2015 funded by The Anna-Stina Malmborg and Gunnar Höglund Foundation
A version of this article first appeared in print in our 2019 Summer issue in the section The Artful Life. Subscribe to the magazine.