Nest by Jaume Plensa
This solo exhibition by Jaume Plensa, featuring new sculptures by the artist, coincides with the opening of two monumental public-facing commissions in Jersey City and Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Born in 1955 in Barcelona, Jaume Plensa is one of the world’s foremost sculptors with international exhibitions and over thirty public projects spanning the globe in such cities as Chicago, Dubai, London, Liverpool, Montreal, Nice, San Diego, Tokyo, Toronto, and Vancouver.
Plensa’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at museums worldwide, including: Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2000); The Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids (2008); Musée Picasso, Antibes (2010); Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas (2010); Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton (2011); Espoo Museum of Modern Art, Helsinki (2012); Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art, Nashville (2015); Max Ernst Museum Brühl, Germany (2016); and the Musée d’art moderne et contemporain, Saint-Étienne Métropole (2017).
Select public installations include Crown Fountain (Chicago, 2004); Echo (Seattle, 2014); Wonderland (Calgary, 2013); Breathing (London, 2008); Roots (Tokyo, 2014); Source (Montreal, 2017); Pacific Soul (San Diego) and Dreaming (Toronto) in the fall of 2017. Plensa was recently the subject of solo exhibitions at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid and the Museu d’Art Contemporani in Barcelona.
This solo exhibition features new sculptures, and coincides with the opening of two monumental public-facing commissions: Plensa’s tallest sculpture to-date, Water’s Soul, at Newport Pier Park, Jersey City, and Utopia, a lobby of white marble relief located in the new welcome center for the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
In the Nest series, reliefs of contemplative or dreaming faces emerge from alabaster, bridging the classical precept that the sculpture is already contained in the stone with a contemporary use of photography in their production. Plensa is known for seeking out the perfect material and technology for each individual work. In addition to the alabaster sculptures, a grouping of monumental sculptures rendered in stainless steel and marble is also on view. Plensa’s portraits reveal a reflective inner world through the models’ expression –eyes closed and face at ease– a thread of inquiry the artist continues in new and recent works.
Underlining Plensa’s practice is an ongoing pursuit to evoke the beauty in simplicity, encouraging points of convergence for viewers of the work, which range from architectural landmarks bridging local communities to intimate sculptures. Plensa’s long career with public-facing artworks originates from his belief in the ability of art in public spaces to create inclusive, transformative experiences for a diverse and extensive audience.