His works have already been shown as part of the Documenta X in Kassel, at the MoMa in New York, and at the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam. In 2010 Olaf Nicolai designed the CULA edition for the Nymphenburg Porcelain Manufactory, which approaches the repeating topics and motifs of his work anew.
Nicolai combines art with observations on markets and materialism, with memories and archive material, with relational aesthetics, and with scenes from everyday life. He creates artificial landscapes and urban scenes, augments consumer goods into gargantuan items, and works with distorted advertising art. Thus, familiar images are put in new situations again and again.
Repetition is an important motif which appears in his works continuously. He focuses his interest on the repetitiveness of images from our memory and our subconscious. Nicolai often integrates scientific findings into his concepts. His fascination with mathematical models, universal algorithms, symbolism, and regular patterns can be seen in many of his installations.
Olaf Nicolai (born in 1962 in Halle/Saale, Germany) lives and works in Berlin.
He is the recipient of numerous well-known scholarships: Scholarship of the German National Academic Foundation for the German University Centre in Venice (1993), Scholarship of the Villa Massimo, Rome (1996), Scholarship of the MoMA PS1, New York (1998), Scholarship of IASPIS, Stockholm (2000), Art Prize of the City of Wolfsburg (2002), Scholarship of the City of Paris (2007), and Scholarship of the Villa Aurora, Los Angeles (2008).
Exhibitions, among others, in the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (2010/2011), in the Kestner Gesellschaft, Hanover (2010), in the Apollo Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2008/2009), at the 51st Biennale in Venice (2005), in the Moderna Museet (Museum of Modern Art) in Stockholm (2004), at the Biennale in Gwangju (2002) and Berlin (1998), in the MoMA PS1, New York (1997 and 1999), and as part of the Documenta X in Kassel (1997).
Official website: http://www.olafnicolai.com/