Songs and Shadows
Presented by Galerie Lelong
March 25, 2006- April 29, 2006
Reception: March 24, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Literature, psychology, biology, language, and history have remained key elements throughout Plensa’s career. Voracious and thoroughly innovative, Plensa is equally diverse in his execution, using a wide range of materials that have included steel, cast iron, resin, paraffin wax, glass, light, water, and sound. The results are intricate, highly intimate creations that call and provoke the viewer’s sensations, memory, and emotions. Through all of this, the body and its energies link his various investigations.
The centerpiece of Songs and Shadows will be the large-scale “Song of Songs,” a series of 19 suspended curtains of the thin steel letters that reveal to be lines from the classical and erotic poem. The viewer walks through the curtains, reading each line of text vertically. Like doors, the curtains reveal and frame our experience. Language becomes a space of memory. In each of the other works on view, the letters provide the framework for a seated man, a recurring figure in Plensa’s sculpture.
Duality has endured as a central focus in Plensa’s work. In Songs and Shadows, Plensa lends physical weight and volume to components of the human condition, giving presence to what is absent, permanence to what is ephemeral. The spirituality and sensuality of language is expressed in the physicality of matter. Form, says the artist, is a vessel of thought and feeling. In the works of Songs and Shadows, interaction and energy are pervasive forces, as Plensa moves the viewer physically and psychologically to explore our individual and collective memory. “In my work,” says Plensa, “I like to transform the body’s energy into an object.”
Jaume Plensa lives and works in Barcelona and Paris. Monographic exhibitions of his sculpture have been presented at numerous museums internationally, including Centro de Arte Contemporaneo de Malaga (2005-06); Kunsthalle Mannheim (2005); Arts Club of Chicago (2005); Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2000); Kestner Gesellschaft, Hannover (1999); and Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris (1997). Major public commissions of his work are located at the BBC Broadcasting Tower in London (2005); Millennium Park, Chicago (2004); and Pearson International Airport, Toronto (2003). Plensa is also active in opera and theater projects—most recently, he designed the sets and costumes for the Paris National Opera’s 2005 production of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte.
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