Internationally celebrated Spanish artist Jaume Plensa (b.1955) is one of the world's foremost sculptors in the public realm with celebrated projects spanning the globe in such cities as Calgary, Chicago, San Diego, Montréal, London, Paris, Dubai, Bangkok, Shanghai, and Tokyo. Most recently, installations of his monumental sculptures in the public realm include Behind the Walls at historic Rockefeller Center in New York City and the Museo Nacional de Arte in Mexico City, Julia in Plaza de Colón in Madrid and Voices permanently installed at 30 Hudson Yards in New York City. Over the past 35 years, the artist has produced a multifaceted body of work creating sculpture that speaks to the capacity and beauty of humanity, often bringing people together through the activation of public spaces. Conventional sculptural materials like glass, steel, and bronze blend with unconventional media such as water, light and sound to create hybrid works of intricate energy, psychological weight, and symbolic richness.
Frequently incorporating linguistic elements from different alphabets, Plensa’s work does not contain a specific message, but instead uses language as a metaphor. In addition to his interest in language, Plensa finds inspiration in the human figure as a universal symbol. In celebrating the similarities and shared humanity of the world’s seemingly divergent cultures, the artist seeks to connect with his viewers on an intuitive level.
By posing numerous dualities, such as interior and exterior, light and dark, and earth and sky, his works range from intimate, delicate works on paper to monumental public projects, such as the iconic Crown Fountain (2000-2005), a modern day agora amidst the urban landscape of Chicago and Echo, at the Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle. Plensa unites his diverse practice to evoke inward reflection, silence, and intellectual engagement. Often, viewer participation or the object/viewer relationship is what completes Plensa's work.
The winner of many national and international awards including the Honorary Doctorate from Univeristat Aut’onoma de Barcelona in 2018 and the 2013 Velazquez Prize awarded by the Spanish Cultural Ministry, Jaume Plensa has had solo museum exhibitions at the MACBA: Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Spain; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid Spain; MAMC–Musée d’art moderne et contemporain Saint-Étienne Métropole, Saint-Étienne, France; Max Ernst Museum Brühl des LVR, Brühl, Germany; The Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, Ohio; Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Yorkshire, England; and Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, Texas. He lives and works in Barcelona.