New York, 28 W 26th Street
Jaume Plensa is best known in the United States for Crown Fountain, his public installation at Chicago’s Millennium Park, featuring a black granite reflecting pool between two immense towers that use LEDs to stream digital images including the artist’s signature faces. Faces have been a crucial element for the Catalan artist’s multimedia practice. Posing between anonymity and expressiveness, Plensa’s face sculptures, for which he utilizes a wide range of materials such as bronze and fiberglass, comment on race, identity, and globalism, while paying homage to portraiture tradition.
Plensa’s Galerie Lelong exhibition Silence introduces the namesake installation of seven heads carved from timber salvaged from rundown constructions. Each rendered after a young woman the artist has met, these faces carry attributes from different parts of the globe. The notion of silence on the other hand infuses into each face, suggesting contemplation and tranquility through the models’ closed eyes and introspective presence. A small group of sculptures present eight small bronze heads posing as “three wise monkeys”, embodying the proverbial principle “see no evil, hear no evil, say no evil”. “One of my obsessions is silence, silence as a key need. And in a very noisy world, silence should be produced, must be ‘made,’ because it does not exist; an inner silence so that people return to be with themselves,” states Plensa about the prominence of silence in his sculptures.
On view through March 11, 2017