Jaume Plensa (Spanish, b. 1955)
Jaume Plensa is one of the world's foremost sculptors working in the public space, with over 30 projects spanning the globe in such cities as Chicago, Dubai, London, Liverpool, Nice, Tokyo, Toronto, and Vancouver. Born in 1955 in Barcelona, where he studied at the Llotja School of Art and Design and at the Sant Jordi School of Fine Arts. Since 1980, the year of his first exhibition in Barcelona, he has lived and worked in Berlin, Brussels, England, France and the United States, currently resides and works in Barcelona. 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. He has also given many lectures and courses at other universities, museums and cultural institutions around the world.
Over the past 25 years, the artist has produced a rich body of work in the studio and the public realm. By combining conventional sculptural materials (glass, steel, bronze, aluminum) with more unconventional media (water, light, sound, video), and frequently incorporating text, Plensa creates hybrid works of intricate energy and psychology. From his delicately textured, intimate works on paper—like his 2005-06 series of ethnographic portraits that resemble worn, 19th century photographs—to monumental outdoor sculptures like Nomade (2007) and a range of cityscape-altering public projects like the Crown Fountain in Chicago (2000-05), Plensa's work takes many forms. Plensa's work is invested in evoking emotion and stimulating intellectual engagement. By posing conceptual dualities in his work (inside/outside, front/back, light/dark), Plensa seeks to connect with his viewers on an intuitive level. Often, the viewer participation, or the object/viewer relationship, is what completes Plensa's work.
The winner of many national and international awards, Jaume Plensa has had solo exhibitions at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton, UK; Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas; Institut Valencia d'Art Modern, Spain; the Musée Picasso, Antibes, France; the Arts Club of Chicago; Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids, Michigan; Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid and Galerie National du Jeu de Paume, Paris among many others.