March 27, 2013

JAUME PLENSA EXHIBITION AT GALERIE LELONG PARIS


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JAUME PLENSA AT GALERIE LELONG PARIS
MARCH 7 2013 – MAY 4 2013
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IN THE SHADOW OF WORDS
More than any other ritual, the ceremonial burial of scrolls manifests the age – old anology between the word and the human body. The law prescribing that a Torah scroll, if damaged by fire, should be laid to rest in a local cemetery grave with all the usuall ceremonies, still applies today.
The idea that language is not merely a vehicle for conveying meaning but is also body made up of matter and energy, living breath and being, has gradually become the salient creative impulse driving jaume Plensa’ s most recent work.
PRIMAL MATTER – FORM
In this sculptures from 2005 and 2006 the artist has for the first time truly dissociated language from all rationally intelligible content, treating it instead as a wholly random chaos of letters chaos of letters. From this mute and wordless linguistic raw material he forges a filigree husk which, in spite of its montumental height of nearly for metres, assumes a strangely fluid presence within its surroundings. Taller still stands the shadow it casts against the Wall, a shadow of shapeless words. But are they really shapeless? Have they not rather acquired an eminently human guise as if a great rush of breath had spawned a body from vowels and consonants? The language shell just sits there in an almost embryonic squatting position, its hands folded around its knees and its head slightly raised like someone peering into the distance. But the face of this figüre is open, as if if the letters had stopped growing and left and empty space; or inversely, as if this entity were in the process of decay. For Jaume Plensa, whether its condition can be described as ‘ no longer ’ or ‘ not yet ‘ remains unresolved; all that matters to him is simply the fact that the sculpture is incomplete.
The unhewn boulder with the figure perched atop massively and expansively marks a location in the room. The rock’ s appearance is clearly that of a fragment of the earth, similar to a large iceberg drifting in an unsettled ocean. With its insular character this piece of the planet poses an unsettling questions about the nature of the  space that we as visitors have entered when, cautiously, we begin to step around these figures that leave us so little room. Plensa describes how hard it was to find the right boulders for this sculptural group, already having a fairly precise idea of what its form and colour should be before he set off into the mountains. On the closer examinations the granite’ s surface soon reveals something resembling a cartographic drawing, as if the rock were not only a sample of the earth but also a world unto itself. The fact that the stone is uncut sets is apart. Consequently it is not a plinth, not something that has been made. I ancient mythology natural boulders were held to be sacred stones that had fallen from the heavens and hence frequently attributed prophetic powers and oracular functions; many archaic cultures an deven classical antiquity revered ‘ speaking Stones ‘. But since rocks were viewed as the ‘ bones of the earth ‘ in cultures throughout the world, one finds frequent instances of the myth of the man who was born from stone – such imagery was common among Semites and Greek alike. Ovid, for instance, recount how, ones the great flood unleashed by Jupiter on humanity had receded, the Titans Deucalion and Pyrrha created a new human race. Blindfolded, they hurled unhewn stones in wide arc over their shoulders, which turned – unwitnessed – into men and women.

To yoke such images onto Jaume Plensa’ s sculptures would be to undermine their intrinsic mystery. The point of mentioning such myths in this context, however, is rather to offer a peripheral backdrop against which we can examine more closely the profound silence, if not indeed the living breath, of the primal matter that constitutes Plesan’ s large figures. Oscillating within them is an analogy between the unhewn rock and the unfettered letters still free of all form, meaning and referential definition. As Plensa says, ‘ a text is territory ‘. His language shells are freefloating figures without specified location. Even though the individual letters stem from the Latin alphabet, the manner in which they are delicately interlaced to circumscribe airy interior shapes creates an overall lattice of seemingly unfamiliar signs. But this web spun from jumbled letters encases a void, as if silent rush of breath made heavy with primordial language had secreted an envelope around emptiness. What such unformed raw linguistic mater articulates in visual terms is nothing other than a linguistic zero point whence all life can issue and all life can return. This silence brings to mind an observation made by Edmond Jabes: ‘ The face does not die, a sage once said. It remains absent, cast in the mould of absence, just as one cast a word from nothingness.’
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Silence as living raw substance, language that even precedes language: this is how, similar to a cellular structure, Plensa’ s alphabetic matter proliferates, encountered by the viewer as a truly living figure with spatial presence and casting shadows. The event these entities signal assumes a theatrical quality, as if at the very moment of their appearance the breath – or soul – of their primordial linguistic energy were creating a human being. Plensa repeatedly names the inquiry into the existence of the soul as his major theme – indeed, he titled his first such figüre Soul. It was only later that he adopted the title Tel Aviv Man, in reference to the place where he conceived the idea fort his group of sculptures.
It is as a figure bearing both the beginning and the end in mind as he squats on top of a burial mound, his arms again wrapped around his inflected knees and his own tree of life enveloped by his body, that Jaume Plensa views himself in his Autoportrait ( 2005 ) Shaped in aluminium, the body – bar the face – is strewn all over with letters that in his instance  not only read  as words  but even spell out names. As if his skin had been inscibed with all the authors who have marked his life since childhood and influenced him, we discover, among others, Blake, Canetti, Baudelaire, Dante and Goethe, but also less weighty names such as Vicent Andres Estelles or William Carlos Williams. Thus we directly learn what moved the artist to create this image: the sense of  being physically shaped by everything we experience. He is animated by the idea that we are  genuinely nourished by books, that we grow a skin of words from what we have read, and that our reading  seeps into our identity and infuses our pores as extended consciousness and orientation within the World. The forthrightness with which Plensa’ s installation lends visual expression to such notions is matched by the self – evident manner in which he link them with ancient tradition. As for instance, with the Apocalypse, where the book of life is featured at the centre of paradise and equated with the tree of life, whose leaves, like the letters in the book, denote the entirety of all living beings. Plensa comes up with such images intuitively. It is intrinsic to his direct approach that not only does he read these chosen authors but he even, literally, hears them as speaking voices requires a void where ideas and dialogue can germinate, and intermediary zone corresponding with that other state of equilibrium poised between the extremes of the beginning and the end. This brings to mind the words of Paul Celan: ‘ With you / on the vocal cord bridge, in the / Large inbetween, / nightower ’.    

I had quoted this information from Jaume Plensa’ s exhibition catalog of Galerie Lelong. I may recommend to read and see more sculptures from Jaume Plensa to link below web page.

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YORKSHIRE MOSS I 2012


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LES SILHOUETTES 2012
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LES SILHOUETTES 2012
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YORKSHIRE MOSS III - 2012
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GALERIE LELONG EXHIBITION 2012

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GALERIE LELONG EXHIBITION 2012
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THREE GRACES 2012
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PLENSA, NURIA ET IRMA 2012
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SPIEGEL I 2010 TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART OHIO
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LIGHT SHADOW VIII 2012
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LIGHT SHADOW XI 2012
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ISTANBUL BLUES PLACE VENDOME 2012
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ISTANBUL BLUES PLACE VENDOME 2012
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ISTANBUL BLUES PLACE VENDOME 2012
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ISTANBUL BLUES PLACE VENDOME 2012
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ISTANBUL BLUES PLACE VENDOME 2012
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TEL AVIV MAN XV 2007
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ISTANBUL BLUES ( STUDY ) 2012
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CALGARY WONDERLAND 2013
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PLENSA SHADOWS V 2012
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IN THE MIDST OF DREAM


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YORKSHIRE SOUL III 2010
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NOMADE 2010
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EL ALMA DEL EBRO 2008
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JAUME PLENSA AT ISC CONFERENCE, FREDERIC MEIJER
GARDENS AND SCULPTURE PARK PART 9 OF 9







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MONSERRAT FIGUERAS & JORDI SAVAL
EL CANT DE LA SIBIL - LA
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JAUME PLENSA

JAUME PLENSA, born in Barcelona in 1955
From 1980 with his first exhibition in Barcelona until today, he has lived and worked in Berlin, Brussels, England, France, USA, and he currently shares his residence between Paris and Barcelona. He has been a teacher at the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris and has also been a lecturer at many universities and art institutions. He collaborates as professor invited at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Since 1992 he has obtained various distinctions and awards, both national and international, notably his investiture as a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture (France, 1993), National Culture Awards of the Government of Catalonia 1997 (Barcelona, 1997), Honorary Doctorate from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, USA, 2005), the 2009 Mash Award for Public Sculpture (London, 2009), National Award for Plastic Arts (Madrid 2012), and most recently , the National Award for Graphic Arts (Madrid 2013).
His sculptural work has gone through several stages developed largely with recuperation materials, iron, bronze, cooper, … In 1986, he started a series of cast iron sculptures, then he incorporated light and relief written text. Recently his melting materials have been synthetic resin, glass, alabaster, plastic, light, video and sound. He also has a large production of works on paper and etchings. Beside his sculptural oeuvre he is collaborating often working on stage design and costumes for opera and theatre productions.
A significant part of Plensa’s production is set in the context of public sculpture, a sphere in which he has works installed in Spain, France, Japan, the United Kingdom, Korea, Germany, Canada, the USA, etc. The Crown Fountain, in Chicago’s Millennium Park, is one of his latest project, and undoubtedly one of his most brilliant. In 2005 he finished Breathing, which is installed in the new BBC building in London; in 2007 Conversation à Nice for the place Masséna in Nice, (France), El Alma del Ebro for the Expo Zaragoza 2008 in Zaragoza (Spain); in 2009 Dream in St Helens, Liverpool (UK), in 2010 World Voices in Dubai (UAE), Ogijima’s Soul in Ogijima (Japan), Awilda in Salzburg (Austria), Tolerance for the city of Houston (USA), Echo for Madison Square Park (New York), in 2012 DRÖM in Goteborg (Sweden), Mirror for Rice University in Houston (USA), and Close up for Seul (Korea).
He is currently working on several new projects as Wonderland, for The Bow-Calgary, in Canada, Sacramento Airport in California, EEUU, and, in the Biennal of Shanghai, China. You can see now hes personal exhibitions at Oir Rio, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,  EMMA - Espoo, Museum of Art, Espoon Kaupunk, in Finland, and Eight Poets in Bamberg, for the city of  Bamberg in Germany.
His work has been exhibited in numerous galleries and museums in Europe, the United States and Japan: Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona (Spain); Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris (France); Henry Moore Sculpture Trust, Halifax (United Kingdom); Malmö Konsthall, Malmö (Sweden); Städtische Kunsthalle, Mannheim (Germany); Musée d’Art Contemporain, Lyons (France); Museo Luigi Pecci, Prato (Italy); Kestner Gesellschaft, Hannover (Germany); Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna (Austria); Palacio de Velázquez - Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; BALTIC The Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead (United Kingdom); the Arts Club Center for Contemporary Art, Chicago (USA); Musée des Beaux-Arts, Caen (France); Wilhelm-Lehmbruck-Museum, Duisburg (Germany), Kunsthalle Mannheim Museum (Germany), Centro de Arte Contempoáneo, (Malaga); Musée d’Art Contemporain,  Nice (France); IVAM Institut Valencià d’Art Modern, Valencia, (Spain); The Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids, Michigan, (USA), The Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, (USA); Picasso Museum, Antibes (France), The Yorkshire Sculpture Park, (United Kingdom), etc. 
He regularly shows his art works at Galerie Lelong in Paris, Galerie Lelong (New York), and Richard Gray Gallery in Chicago and New York.

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