Gray is pleased to announce the unveiling of Water’s Soul, 2020, a new site-specific sculpture byinternationally renowned artist Jaume Plensa. Standing 80 feet tall,Water’s Soulis the artist’s tallest publicsculpture to-date and will be permanently installed on the Hudson River in Jersey City, New Jersey. Thesculpture will be dedicated on site in a ceremony on Thursday, October 21, 2021.
Overlooking the Hudson River,Water’s Souldepicts the serene face of a young subject holding a finger toher lips in a state of silent contemplation. The sculptural portrait, though monumental in scale, humblygestures for quietude, a beckoning towards empathetic self-reflection. With great ethereal beauty, Plensa’ssite-specific installation serves as a tribute to the Hudson River, aligning with the artist’s ongoing interest inbodies of water as proxies for humankind. “Water is a marvelous metaphor for humanity,” Plensa reflects.“One drop of water is quite alone, like a single person, but many drops together can create a tidal wave, andform immense rivers and oceans; When individuals come together to exchange ideas and create community, we can build something incredibly powerful.”
Water’s Soulnods to the historic Hudson River waterfront pier on which it is situated, a locale that borewitness to much of the trade coming in and out of New York Harbor on ferries and rail barges during the 19thand early-20th centuries. Plensa’s site-specific sculpture acknowledges this past while expressing thecollective hope for humanity to build a better world. “Water's Soulis asking us for a bit of silence, it is askingto listen to its profound voice that speaks to us about the origin of the world and its memory. The Lenape, theNative Americans who lived in this land before us, were a deeply religious people and they believed that allthings had souls. I believe in the spirit of water too, and its great capacity for connection and transformation.Water is the great public space — it does not belong to anyone and at the same time belongs to all of us."
The LeFrak and Simon families, developers of the Newport waterfront community in Jersey City, selectedand commissioned Plensa to create a work for this site, recognizing the artist’s ability to convey a message ofhope for humanity’s future. “Over the course of three decades, Newport has blossomed into a vibrant, diversecommunity. We are proud to welcome Jaume Plensa’s breathtaking sculpture to this one-of-a-kindneighborhood as we continue to establish Newport within the growing art scene taking shape in Jersey City,” states Richard LeFrak, Chairman and CEO of the LeFrak Organization. “After a generation of incrediblework, determination, and investment, this area has been truly transformed from what was once barrenland into a vibrant, thriving community,” says David Simon, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Presidentof Simon. “This magnificent Jaume Plensa sculpture is a phenomenal representation of the cultural sense ofplace that Newport embodies.”
“It is my wish forWater’s Soulto become Newport's figurehead moving through the water into the future,”says Plensa. “Visually connecting the city of Jersey City and New York City across the Hudson River,Water’sSoulreminds us that water is the great public space that has the power to unite people around the world.”
ABOUT JAUME PLENSA
Born in Barcelona where he currently lives and works, Jaume Plensa (b.1955) is one of the world’s foremostsculptors in the public realm with celebrated projects spanning the globe in such cities as Calgary, Chicago,San Diego, Montréal, Los Angeles, London, Dubai, Bangkok, Shanghai, and Tokyo. Recent public sculpturesincludeLaurain Century City, Los Angeles,Dreamingin downtown Toronto, andVoicespermanently installedat 30 Hudson Yards in New York City. Over the past 35 years, the artist has produced a multifaceted body ofwork creating sculpture that speaks to the capacity and beauty of humanity, often bringing people togetherthrough the activation of public spaces. Conventional sculptural materials like glass, steel, and bronze blendwith unconventional media such as water, light, and sound to create hybrid works of intricate energy,psychological weight, and symbolic richness.Exploring material and conceptual juxtapositions — interior and exterior, light and dark, earth and sky —Plensa’s practice ranges from intimate works on paper to monumental public projects such as the iconicCrown Fountain(2000-2005), a modern-day agora amidst the urban landscape of Chicago, andEcho(2011)at the Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle. Plensa unites his diverse practice to evoke inward reflection,silence, and intellectual engagement, often relying upon the relationship between the viewer and the objectto complete his works. Plensa is the recipient of numerous national and international awards includinghonorary doctorates from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2005 and Univeristat Aut’onoma deBarcelona in 2018, and the 2013 Velazquez Prize awarded by the Spanish Cultural Ministry. His solo museumexhibitions include those at 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-ÉtienneMétropole, Saint-Étienne, France; Max Ernst Museum Brühl des LVR, Brühl, Germany; The Toledo Museumof Art, Toledo, Ohio; Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Yorkshire, England; and Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas,Texas.
Gray gallery has represented Jaume Plensa since 1995. In addition toWater’s Soul, Gray has facilitatednumerous gallery and museum exhibitions for the artist, as well as private and public commissions across theglobe, including Plensa’s recent installations,Behind The Walls, 2018, at Rockefeller Plaza in New YorkCity;Looking into my Dreams, Awilda,2012, at the Perez Art Museum; andEcho,2011, at the Seattle ArtMuseum. With established gallery locations in Chicago and New York, Gray is a leading dealer of Modern,Post-War, and Contemporary art with prominent private and institutional clients worldwide. Founded in 1963,Gray represents and specializes in emerging and well-established artists of international recognition,including McArthur Binion, Alexander Calder, Jim Dine, Jean Dubuffet, Theaster Gates, David Hockney,Rashid Johnson, Alex Katz, Willem de Kooning, Joan Mitchell, Pablo Picasso, Susan Rothenberg, and EvelynStatsinger. With a reputation for excellence, integrity and discretion, Gray provides high level service andmarket expertise to new and long-standing collections, advising on the acquisition and evaluation of works ofmuseum quality.
LeFrak is a preeminent, family-owned property company committed to community development and long-term ownership.LeFrak affiliates own and manage an extensive portfolio of real property concentrated in theNew York/New Jersey metropolitan area, as well as South Florida, Los Angeles and throughout the WestCoast. Through its affiliated companies, LeFrak has developed and built the majority of its real estateportfolio and is one of the world’s leading property firms.The firm is acclaimed around the globe for thequality of its projects and its properties, its financial strength and conservatism, its entrepreneurial businessmodel and its commitment to long term ownership. Although primarily focused on the residential and officesectors, LeFrak affiliates also invest in numerous hospitality, retail assets, securities, private businesses andenergy.www.lefrak.com.
Simon is a real estate investment trust engaged in the ownership of premier shopping, dining, entertainmentand mixed- use destinations and an S&P 100 company, that has been around for more than half a century.Through strategic development, Simon properties across North America, Europe and Asia providecommunity gathering places for millions of people every day and generate billions in annual sales. As thelargest retail real-estate developer in the world, Simon leads the industry in innovation and was an earlychampion of urban and suburban redevelopment. Simon and affiliates continue to focus on the needs of thecommunities in which they operate – from neighborhood shopping centers to Premium Outlet centers; theystrive to offer a comprehensive retail and entertainment experience to everyone.For press inquiries about Jaume Plensa, contact Rebecca Daniel,firstname.lastname@example.org. For press inquiries about The Waterfront LuxuryApartments or to learn more about living and working in Newport, email@example.com.Connect with us onInstagram|Facebook|Twitter