artist / participant


press release

"Jaume Plensa has often said that sculpture is an ideal way of posing questions. Firenze II(1992), the work that marks the start of Plensa’s exhibition at MACBA, is a huge question mark that leans against the wall. We stand before the interrogative itself. The sign ‘?’ reminds us that, every time we use it, a statement becomes a question. Isn’t that precisely one of the functions of sculpture? Keeping up uncertainty, celebrating imprecision? Generating perplexity, hesitation, unsureness? Inspiring suspicion, increasing incredulity, sowing scepticism?" –Ferran Barenblit, curator of the exhibition and MACBA director

Jaume Plensa (Barcelona, 1955) is an artist of materials, sensations and ideas. His references include literature, especially poetry, music, religion and thought. He considers himself, above all, a sculptor, although his creative process has included multiple disciplines. His work addresses the very condition of being: its physical and spiritual essence, ontological awareness of present and past, moral codes and dogmas, and our relationship with nature. What we cannot explain is, precisely, what makes us human. Plensa’s objective is not to create objects, but to develop relationships that embrace everyone.

The MACBA exhibition will feature works from the 1980s to the present, in a journey showing the dialogue that takes place between works that represent the human figure and those that are abstract. This tension is the thread that runs through the whole of his work, a corpus that highlights the strength of binomials such as weightlessness/compactness, light/dark, silence/sound, spirit/matter and life/death.

Jaume Plensa’s MACBA exhibition offers a broad overview of the work of one of Catalonia’s most internationally recognised sculptors. Awarded the National Visual Arts Prize of the Generalitat de Catalunya (1997), the Velázquez Prize for Visual Arts of the Spanish Ministry of Education and Culture (2013) and the City of Barcelona Prize (2015), among others, he is recognised worldwide for his public works in cities such as Chicago, London, Montreal, Nice, Tokyo, Toronto and Vancouver. On 6 November he was invested Doctor Honoris Causa by the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

The book Jaume Plensa focuses on a photographic tour by Anne Pöhlmann of the exhibition that occupies the galleries of MACBA. This tour is accompanied with essays by Ferran Barenblit, Clare Lilley, Catherine Millet and Hèctor Parra. The book is published in three separate editions: Catalan, Spanish and English. Available from February 2019.

The exhibition Jaume Plensa will travel to the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (June 11-September 2, 2019)