Jaume Plensa, “New Works”

Stockholm, 15.1–21.2  2015

Galleri Andersson/Sandström is proud to open the new season with a solo exhibition of Spanish Catalan sculptor Jaume Plensa. New Works is his first comprehensive exhibition in Stockholm. Plensa has become one of today’s most significant sculptors and has received great international attention, especially for his public installations. A play with light and shadow, transparency and dimensional construction can be found within his works.

Plensa’s work asks questions and sets up situations that encourage us to think and think again, to be silent and meditative, to talk with one another and experience togetherness. The artist is keen to encourage communication and understanding with others and ourselves, producing work with the hope of reconnecting us with our own souls. His sculptural work has, with time, undergone several changes, but has always been dealing with humanity, body and soul, in mostly figurative expressions. This theme continues in the new works now shown at Galleri Andersson/Sandström.

The exhibition features fifteen new works. In the gallery’s first room visitors encounter five slightly elongated silhouettes of young women. The roughly 60 cm high profiles are characterized, like many of Plensa’s works, by a sort of inner light and lightness despite the fact that they are made out of a completely solid material; bronze. Plensa’s understanding and knowledge of scale becomes evident when two of the five visages in the next room are presented more monumental. Rui-Rui´s Dream (2014) and Sanna’s Dream (2014) are each just over 2 meters high. The solemn expression remains fragile even in the dramatic change of scale.

In front of Blake in Venice (2013) the beholder finds herself in the middle of a text. Letters of colored glass hangs vertically in threads from the ceiling, visualizing portions of writer William Blake’s texts Proverbs of Hell in a way we are not accustomed to. Plensa’s works often includes literary references and here he embodies the text, lifts and releases it from the paper and transforms it from two to three dimensions so that we can see the letters from every angle. In Nuage VIII (2014) the letters are used as building blocks in the creation of a seated human figure mounted on an oval shape. Both works indicates the inherent power and weakness of letters. Alone they mean nothing but together as a text it’s one of man’s most powerful tools.

Letters is the most wonderful creation people have made. Letters enable us to put together words, sentences, write and talk. – Jaume Plensa
JAUME PLENSA was born in Barcelona in 1955, and since 1980, the year of his first exhibition in Barcelona he has had the whole world as his work field. He has been a teacher at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris and regularly cooperates with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago as a guest professor. Plensa´s work has been exhibited in numerous galleries and museums in Europe, USA and Japan; Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona, Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume in Paris, Henry Moore Sculpture Trust in Halifax, Malmö Konsthall, Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig in Vienna, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, BALTIC The Centre for Contemporary Art i Gateshead, Musée des Beaux-Arts i Caen, The Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, Picasso Museum i Antibes, Galerie Lelong i Paris and New York, and Yorkshire Sculpture Park to mention a few.

Since 1992 he has obtained various distinctions and awards, both national and international, including the Medaille de Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, awarded by the French Ministry of Culture, in 1993, and the Government of Catalonia’s National Prize for Fine Art in 1997. In 2005, he was invested Doctor Honoris Causa by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In Spain, he received the National Prize for Fine Art in 2012 and the prestigious Velázquez Prize for the Arts in 2013.

Jaume Plensa is widely acclaimed for his large-scale works in the public domain. The Crown Fountain in Chicago´s Millennium Park is one of his most well-known works together with Conversation á Nice. The most recent work, Roots (2014), was installed in the Toranomon district in Tokyo last year. During 2014 two major permanent public sculptures by Plensa was inaugurated in Sweden; House of Knowledge in Borås and Twenty-Nine Palms in the award-winning house of culture Väven in Umeå.