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Olafur Eliasson’s “A View Becomes a Window” Opens at the Neues Museum on 23 September 2021

Neues Museum

From 23 September 2021 to 16 January 2022, the Neues Museum is presenting in its Niobidensaal (Library of Antiquities) of the Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung the artist’s book A View Becomes a Window, created by Danish artist Olafur Eliasson for Ivorypress. This volume belongs to an edition of nine one-of-a-kind books. In lieu of pages, the leather-bound art books contain a variety of glass sheets of various colours, qualities, and degrees of opacity.

Illuminations and Complex Reflections

The portrait-format books are best perused opened upon a bookrest. Reminiscent of an atlas in size, they are literally full of illuminations: light is reflected, refracted, and conducted by the glass pages. When the pages are turned, the layers of coloured glass create complex reflections so that the viewer becomes the protagonist of the book’s playful mirror narrative. The experience is heightened by the use of colour-effect filter glass for the first and last pages. With a solid background behind these pages, they act like mirrors, but when light shines through them, they appear translucent and create a dichromatic effect, reflecting light in the complementary colour to that of the glass.

Cut directly into some of the glass plates, ellipses and circles frame the “reader’s” face as the pages are turned. In the multi-layered reflections, viewers witness their own likeness slip across the vitreous surfaces, fade and jump out in crystalline clarity.

Please note that only a single book from the edition is on display in the exhibition at the Neues Museum. For conservational reasons the book can only be presented in a static opened state, with visitors unable to leaf through its pages. We appreciate your understanding.

The Presentation is Part of a multi-institutional Exhibition Programme at Museums and Libraries

This presentation is part of a multi-institutional exhibition programme at museums and libraries across Europe and the United States in 2021 and 2022 to celebrate Ivorypress’ 25th anniversary. Participating institutions include the Biblioteca Nacional de España in Madrid, the Bodleian Libraries at the University of Oxford, the British Library in London, the Centro de Iniciativas Culturales at the Universidad de Sevilla, Ivorypress Space in Madrid, Kettle’s Yard at the University of Cambridge, Museo de Bellas Artes in Bilbao, Museo Chillida Leku in Hernani, Museo Lázaro Galdiano in Madrid, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Neues Museum in Berlin, Stanford University Library in California, the Warburg Institute in London, and the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven.

As part of the celebration, Ivorypress is publishing a three-volume book that chronicles its history since 1996, using a variety of primary sources ranging from oral histories and archival documents to pictorial records and texts.

The Artist Olafur Eliasson

Olafur Eliasson (b. 1967 in Copenhagen) studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen and gained international acclaim through his architectural projects and large-scale installations in public spaces. He represented Denmark at the Venice Biennale in 2003 and has widely exhibited at international museums. His works can be found in private and public collections, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim, New York, The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles and the Tate Modern, London, where he exhibited one of his most transcendental works, The Weather Project. Eliasson currently lives and works in Berlin and Copenhagen.