This upright, rectangular bronze sculpture by Olafur Eliasson expands on the artist's long-term engagement with natural environmental phenomena and his involvement in issues of sustainability and climate change. The presence of absence pavilion is formed by casting a block of glacial ice from the Nuup Kangerlua fjord off the coast of Greenland, initially formed over millions of years from layers of highly compressed snow. The sculpture is an indexical trace of the Greenland ice sheet, which loses tens of thousands of similar blocks each minute as a result of global warming.

In the sculpture, the now-melted ice is only present as absence, leaving the mere memory of the ice within the artwork. This piece also expands upon Eliasson's investigation of chronology within his body of work: the vast time of deep cosmology, geological time and the tension between time's simultaneously abstract and tangible natures.


  • Title: The presence of absence pavilion
  • Creator: Olafur Eliasson
  • Physical Dimensions: 200 x 100 x 100 cm
  • Rights: © Olafur Eliasson 2021
  • Medium: Bronze
  • Art Form: Sculpture

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more

Flash this QR Code to get the app
Google apps