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Eliasson "Colour Tunnel"

Eliasson "Colour Tunnel"

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From: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Limited Edition: 35
Exhibition: Take your time: Olafur Eliasson
Material: Printed vinyl
Dimensions: 35" x 72" (88cm x 182cm)

Hanging Hardware Included


Olafur Eliasson's "One-Way Colour Tunnel" was a site-specific installation designed to span the atrium walkway at SFMOMA for his retrospective exhibition "Take your time: Olafur Eliasson". A dazzling, prismatic display of light, color, and angles, the tunnel invited viewers to experience first hand the disorientation of a known space. The kaleidoscopic installation piece is featured in hues of purple and pink on 35 banners from the show.


According to The New York Times, Olafur Eliasson’s work is “enchanting, spacious, evanescent and intellectually stimulating.” The Wall Street Journal lauds him as “one of the most ingenious, far-sighted and productive artists working today, motivated by complex philosophical and social theories and yet immensely popular with crowds.” Often times, this kind of praise seems the overstated hype of artspeak, but in the work of Eliasson the praise is spot on. His unique way of playing with light, space and scale creates engaging and engulfing visual worlds for viewers.

This banner features an image of One-Way Colour Tunnel (2007), a kaleidoscopic tunnel designed specifically for the atrium bridge at SFMoMA. Triangular acrylic mirros installed in a logarithmically expanding pattern act as one-way prisms of reflective color. Viewers walking through one direction see the magical color before them and behind them feel themselves leaving only a wake of black. When they walk back the other way, the colors are darkly muted. As in Eliasson’s other works, here he strives to evoke a emotions and sensations along with a dramatic visual impact. He requires the interaction of the viewer in order to fully complete the work, and viewers are drawn in and happy to oblige in this uniquely participatory art.

The pink- and purple-hued image continues on the other side of the banner and is overlayed with yellow text that reads “Olafur Eliasson/Sep 8 – Feb 24.” and includes the SFMOMA logo printed in white.


These banners were displayed around San Francisco from September 8, 2007 through February 24, 2009 to promote the exhibition Take your time: Olafur Eliasson at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The exhibition was also seen at the Museum of Modern Art, Dallas Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.

About the Artist

Learn more about Olafur Eliasson

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