Olafur Eliasson’s monumental light installation in munich


Olafur Eliasson‘s latest project, ‘Sonnenenergie 22’, takes shape as a colossal reflective circular surface. Hovering above the Rotunda of the Pinakothek der Moderne at a strategically-positioned angle, the immense installation plays with light, an element that has an essential role in the artist’s projects.


Through the use of mirrors and a projection surface, the result sees a stunning spatial experience that immerses visitors into a dreamy world with the blue sky as a backdrop. More specifically, a series of round, distorting mirrors and special color-effect filters set in the ceiling cast daylight onto the massive screen. Additionally to the mirrors, rings made of reflective glazing are suspended around the room to add to the sensory experience with dynamic projections.


‘Sonnenenergie 22 turns the center of the Pinakothek der Moderne into an energetic solar observatory within the art space. As visitors move to the rotunda’s upper floors, the light image becomes visible from new perspectives and the mechanisms responsible for the reflections become apparent. The title of the work draws attention to the crucial importance of alternative energies in our present times,’ stated curator Dr. Michael Hering.olafur eliasson suspends reflective 'solar energy 22' installation in pinakothek der moderneImages © Studio Olafur Eliasson



using sunlight as its energy source


The surface uses sunlight to operate, creating what Eliasson names an ‘Analog film’. This means that once cloudy or dark, ‘Sonnenenergie 22’ stays hazy and inactive. However, once the sun appears, the alternating projections of light make the invisible rotation of the earth almost physically tangible for the viewers. 


‘From spring to autumn 2022, the sun and earth work together to create Sonnenenergie 22. As the earth’s position in relation to the sun changes, the screenplay evolves, making the artwork constantly new. The unfolding narrative amplifies the movement of the earth, so that the invisible motion becomes visible. When you encounter the artwork on a sunny day, it is your own movement that you see as you travel on this spaceship earth through the vastness of space,’ stated Olafur Eliasson (see more here).

olafur eliasson suspends reflective 'solar energy 22' installation in pinakothek der moderne



exhibition info:


name: Sonnenenergie 22, Rotunda Project Part II

artist: Olafur Eliasson 

event in: Pinakothek der Moderne

curator: Dr. Michael Hering, director Staatliche Graphische Sammlung Munich

dates: 15 April to 04 September 2022