Lives and works in Berlin (Allemagne).
Olaf Nicolai has been developing his own unique form of conceptual art for the past twenty years. Based on the philosophical influence of his East German education, his work questions the aporias or contradictions of romantic and Marxist aesthetics.
Whatever the form or medium adopted: photography, sculpture, publishing, design, installation, performance ... the artist strives to provoke situations that engage a critical dialogue with the context in which they are born. Even in his material processes, his work subverts modes of production and the cultural, economic and social references of the industrialized world. A student of the School of Applied Arts in Schneeberg (Germany), he studied German literature and philology at the universities of Leipzig, Budapest and Vienna. In 1992, he wrote a thesis on the 'Wiener Gruppe' (Vienna Group). Olaf Nicolai has been the recipient of numerous grants including the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes for the Studies Centre for Art and Science in Venice (1993); a grant for the Villa Massimo in Rome (1996); for the P.S.1 Museum in New York (1998); an IASPIS grant for Stockholm (2000), and the Kunstpreis der Stadt, Wolfsburg (2002). He participated in Documenta X (1997); the Venice Biennales of 2001 and 2005; and biennales in Sydney (2002), Sharjah (2005), and Athens (2007). His work has been presented in several prestigious institutions all around the world: Migros Museum (Zurich); Museo Serralves (Porto); Museum of Modern Art (New York); Lehnbach (Munich), and the Fondation Cartier (Paris).