Jaume Plensa

The Hermit


November 16, 2011 – January 20, 2012

November 16, 2011-January 20, 2012
Artist’s reception: Wednesday, November 16, 6-8 pm

"When we are by ourselves, without comparison to others, we are perfect."
-Jaume Plensa

Richard Gray Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new works by Jaume Plensa, his first Chicago exhibition since 2006. The exhibition will feature new drawings and sculpture.

Plensa’s diverse body of work is unified by themes of humanity, perspective and duality, and a celebration of the universal spirit. For the exhibition, the artist began a new sculpture series The Hermit, that explores the relationships between scale and context, individuals and society. Inspired by the relatively shifting yet physically constant proportions of Lemuel Gulliver in Gulliver’s Travels, a man who was both a giant and an ant relative to the worlds he traveled, this new series is composed of human figures rendered in stainless steel atop boulder fragments sourced from the Spanish Pyrenees Mountains. The Hermit series grew out of another, physically larger body of Plensa’s work with a similar figure/rock composition, beginning a dialogue between sculpture, surroundings, and size. The title Hermit suggests a person in isolation, unable and unwilling to measure ones self against the rest of society. In this isolation, the Hermit, alone, is perfect—free from comparisons or corruption, a perfect being.

Plensa’s drawings work at the intersection of two and three-dimensional worlds. By layering several materials in each drawing, the works convey a strong sense of sculptural depth. Pulling imagery from his sculpture, Plensa utilizes digital photographs, enamel, and turpentine that are laid atop glassy, resin-coated paper; the overlapping materials and powerful focus on perspective gives the drawings a dynamic presence made intimate by the faces and figures they contain.

Jaume Plensa’s work is currently the subject of a major solo exhibition at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Breton, UK. Plensa has created numerous public works around the world, including the Crown Fountain in Millennium Park, Chicago. He unveiled his most recent public sculpture Echo presented in Madison Square Park, New York City in May 2011. He has had solo exhibitions at the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas; Musée Picasso, Antibes; Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid; Galerie National du Jeu de Paume, Paris; and the Arts Club of Chicago, among many others. He lives and works in Barcelona.

Exhibition Opening:
Wednesday, November 16, 6-8 pm
875 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 2503
Chicago, Illinois 60611

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