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Indepth Arts News:

"Jaume Plensa. Good Luck?"
2005-02-20 until 2005-05-15
Stiftung Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum
Duisburg, , DE Germany

The Spanish sculptor Jaume Plensa was born in 1955 in Barcelona. As long ago as 1994 several of Plensa’s early works were showcased at Lehmbruck Museum as part of the “20th Century Catalonian Sculpture” touring exhibition, and his international breakthrough followed in 1997, when his entire work was displayed in the Fundacio Joan Miró in Barcelona, the Jeu de Paume in Paris, the Malmö Konsthall as well as the Städtische Kunsthalle in Mannheim.

Nowadays Plensa is one of the outstanding protagonists of the mid-life generation of sculptors, whose ideas and leitmotifs exude a ubiquitous fascination and appeal. The most recent examples of his major public projects, which he produced as exterior sculptures or theatre sets, are Crown Fountain in Millenium Park in Chicago, and the stage design for “Magic Flute” in the Jahrhunderthalle in Bochum.

All his works, in which light and poetic experience are the focal point, probe the fundamental experiences in life. “Every person is a place”, Plensa claims. “Every woman, every man, every child, every senior is essentially a stage, a place to live, that moves, changes, progresses... Every time a person dies, a building closes and we lose a place.”

In this way the rooms, which are artistically filled with objects, sounds und natural elements (such as water), and which the artist devotes to “whispering”, “love songs”, “silence” and “conversations”, evoke deep and lasting experiences. As a rule all the rooms are partially darkened or illuminated in a magical way. At the heart of a multi-faceted work like this, or an exhibition there is always poetic concentration, thought penetration and sensual experience. On entering art rooms like these the monotony of everyday life dissipates immediately, provoking long-lasting associations with a wealth of imagery.

For the temporary exhibition at the Lehmbruck Museum, Plensa will design a new show featuring objects and light specifically for the location. He will transform the humane dimensions of the hall with its wide open ceiling structure, the restrained uniform walls and slender corner windows into an artistically staged display room. By means of light sources and soft sounds the sculptural elements will merge to become vibrating energy. In this way the Stiftung Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum is also able to showcase the work of an internationally successful artist that is worthy of the museum as a center of international sculpture, and reflects the growing number of contemporary Spanish artists worldwide. In a modified form the exhibition will also be presented in the Kunsthalle Mannheim from July 17 through November 20.

To accompany the exhibition, an approx. 120-page catalogue in German and English will be brought out that, in great detail, documents in words and pictures both the work process and the final exhibition. It features articles by Rolf Lauter, Gottlieb Leinz and Jaume Plensa and will be priced approx. EUR 18.

The exhibition is being staged with the generous support of the Ministry of Culture in Madrid and Sparkasse Duisburg.

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