Olafur Eliasson, Riverbed, 2014, blue basalt, water. Installation view.

Olafur Eliasson

Louisiana Museum of Modern Art

Olafur Eliasson, Riverbed, 2014, blue basalt, water. Installation view.

Ever since Olafur Eliasson debuted his Green River project (in which he introduced a nontoxic substance into a stream so that the water temporarily glowed a bright-neon green) in Berlin in 1998, rivers have been an obsession for him. Now, on a typically grand scale—I wonder whether anyone has ever challenged Eliasson to produce a work on a small scale, and whether he would be able to manage?—the Danish-Icelandic artist has created an entire riverbed in a wing of the Louisiana Museum. You walk down a long hallway with sterile white walls along a wooden floor, a sort of plinth, before arriving at the river floor. Eliasson’s Riverbed, 2014, consists of more than 180 tons of volcanic rock and pebbles, mainly blue basalt, imported from Iceland—rocks and pebbles of all sizes. For a riverbed, it is not as muddy as I expected it to be. In the course of its passage through

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