Galeria Leme is delighted to present the first solo exhibition in Brazil by the world-renowned artist Jaume Plensa. Three recent, large-scale sculptures will be on view, representing a selection of the artist’s major sculptural explorations of the human form through seated figures and portraits. These works highlight Plensa’s goal of unifying individuals across cultures and time through connections of spirituality, the body, and collective memory.
Waves I (2012) depicts an anonymous and androgynous figure composed of stainless steel letters seated on a stone. The letters are taken from the alphabets of numerous languages, thus transforming the figure into one that is not monly anonymous but also universal. Plensa refers to these sculptures as “souls” to emphasize their connection to a shared sense of spirituality.
Anna (2012) and Paula (2012) are examples from the artist’s sculptures of elongated, female faces. The figures’ eyes are closed in contemplative and dream-like states. While Paula is composed of alabaster, a material Plensa works with frequently, Anna is the first sculpture he has carved in wood. Though modelled from young girls known to the artist, these works bear the deliberately generalized appearance that is a hallmark of Plensa’s work. With their softened features, specific references to gender, race, and age are diminished.
The exhibition at Galeria Leme coincides with the presentation of Plensa’s monumental sculpture, Awilda, created for “OIR-Other Ideas for Rio,” in Rio de Janeiro. At 12 meters tall, this work transforms the portrait of the namedyet universal girl to a colossal scale. Rising from the water washing onto the shore of Botafogo Beach, Awilda towers over the city of Rio de Janeiro as a beacon of tranquillity. This sculpture will join the artist’s other public sculptural portraits, intended to serve as mirrors into the thoughts and souls of viewers, such as Dream (2009) in St. Helen’s, England, and Echo, which was installed in New York’s Madison Square Park for the summer of 2011.
About the artist:
Plensa was born in 1955 and currently lives in Barcelona. His work has been the subject of numerous monographic shows, most recently at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in West Bretton, England, his most important retrospective to date, as well as at the Musée Picasso in Antibes, France, and the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, U.S.A. This fall, a solo-exhibition of his work will be shown at Espoo Museum of Modern Art in Finland. His work is included in numerous museum collections worldwide including the Toledo Museum of Art, U.S.A.; de Cordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, U.S.A.; Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, U.S.A.; Städtische Kunsthalle Mannheim, Germany; Baltic Center for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, England; and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain. Plensa is highly active in developing site-specific public works—his most celebrated include Crown Fountain in Chicago, U.S.A.; Breathing at the BBC Headquarters in London, England; Bridge of Light in Jerusalem; and World Voices at the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Galeria Leme is pleased to participate in Plensa’s debut in Brazil, which is marked by this inaugural solo-exhibition and the public unveiling of Awilda in Rio de Janeiro.
Exhibition organized in cooperation with Galerie Lelong, New York.