Olaf Nicolai


Olaf Nicolai (*1962) is seen internationally as one of Germany’s most prominent artists. His work stands in the tradition of conceptual art that examines the relationship of idea to image or object. In various media Nicolai recurrently questions our habitual ways of seeing things. He transfers theories from the natural sciences and humanities into the area of the aesthetic and artistic, where they are experienced in new contexts.

Numerous international solo exhibitions presented his artistic works and projects, among others: Kunstraum Dornbirn (2006), Kunstmuseum Thun (2004), Casino Luxembourg (2003), migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Zürich (2001), Watari-Um Museum Tokyo (1998). Group shows, in which Olaf Nicolai participated, are the Biennial of Venice (2015, 2005, 2001), the 4. Gwangju Biennial (Korea, 2002), Sydney Biennial (2002), „etre nature", Fondation Cartier (Paris, 1998) or the Documenta X (Kassel, 1997). His works have been awarded among others with the Art Award of the City of Wolfsburg (Kunstpreis der Stadt Wolfsburg, 2002) as well as Scholarships of Villa Aurora in Los Angeles (2008),  IASPIS (Stockholm, 2000), PS1 (New York, 1998), Villa Massimo Rome (1997/98) or the Scholarship of the German National Academic Foundation (Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes) at the study centre for Art and Science in Venice (1993). Olaf Nicolai lives and works in Berlin.

For the interiors of the new master's houses Gropius and Moholy-Nagy, which have been opened in May 2014, Olaf Nicolai developed the multi-part, permanent mural Le pigment de la lumière that refers to light studies of Bauhaus teacher Moholgy-Nagy. For the 8th Berlin Biennale Olaf Nicoali created the work Szondi/Eden for that he has reconstructed the floor ornament of a shopping center in the district Lichtenberg, Berlin and transferred it to the Museum Dahlem.