A waterfall hanging in mid-air? The awe-inspiring art of Olafur Eliasson

Editor’s Note: The video is a segment from the CNN Style show.

CNN  — 

Fog, water, heat and light are but a few of the ephemeral elements in Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson’s toolbox.

Straddling the line between artist and designer, Eliasson is known for large-scale installations – melting icebergs, a man-made indoor river, a waterfall cascading from the clouds – that are as visually stunning as they are intellectually stimulating, a trait he says is common in Scandinavian art.

“In Scandinavian art history there is an interesting balance between form and content, what you say and how do you say it,” he says.

An international perspective

Though he was born and raised in Copenhagen, Eliasson’s practice has a decidedly international presence. His family is from Iceland, his primary studio is in Berlin, and he’s been exhibited all over the world.

olafur eliasson waterfall 3
The awe-inspiring art of Olafur Eliasson
05:24 - Source: CNN

His most recent project, an exhibition at the Palace of Versailles that includes a spectacular mid-air waterfall, saw the artist referencing ideas that have traversed boundaries as easily as he has.

“The history of Versailles is that very idea of giving the power to the people, which Scandinavia thinks is a very Scandinavian idea,” he says. “This was really where the idea of unity and liberty was articulated, so I actually in this space studied what this meant to decentralize power.”

Watch the video above to find out more about Eliasson’s most captivating new works.