This exhibition showcases over a hundred creations by sculptor Jaume Plensa from 1990 to the present day. The retrospective has the influence of literature and letters on Plensa’s creative production as its guiding thread. The Poesía del Silencio exhibition is open from the 25th of November 2022 until the 19th of March 2023, at the headquarters of the Bancaja Foundation in Valencia. On the 24th of November, the Bancaja Foundation presented Jaume Plensa’s new exhibition. ‘Poesía del Silencio’ is one of the most extensive retrospectives carried out to date by one of the best internationally known sculptors of contemporary art. The exhibition will feature 100 pieces dated between 1990 and today, showcasing both his work with sculpture but also Plensa’s work on paper.
The ‘Poesía del Silencio’ exhibition will reveal to the public for the first time some unedited sculptures created by Plensa during the Covid-19 lockdowns. Among the presented pieces will be the iconic sculpture Together (2014) which was shown in 2015h, in the Abbey of San Giorgio Maggiore during Venice’s Biennale Art Festival, and has not been exhibited since. The exhibition will also feature White Nomad (2021), a human figure over four metres tall, made of letters and calligraphy from various alphabets and Sitting Tattoo XI (2008), which demonstrates Plensa’s characteristic tattoos on a translucent human figure made from resin and lit from within by different coloured lights. As the artist states, “all our bodies are tattooed but some with invisible ink.”
The Barcelona-born sculptor has showcased his work in exhibitions across Europe, Asia, and North America, receiving a multitude of national and international prizes. These include;‘La Médaille des Chevaliers des Arts et Lettres’, from the French Ministry of Culture in 1993 and ‘El Premi Nacional de Cultura d’Arts Plàstiques’ from the Catalan Generalitat in 1997. Plensa was also given an honorary doctorate by the School of Art Institute of Chicago University in 2005, among many others. Since 1996 he has collaborated on various theatre and opera projects, working on the concept, costumes and set design.
Literature has always been a source of inspiration for Plensa. Writers such as; T.S. Eliot, William Shakespeare, Dante, Goethe and Vicent Andrés Estellés have accompanied him throughout his life and have given him inspiration for countless works. This literary influence also extends to letters themselves as an element with which he composes his sculptures. The exhibition shows how Plensa has incorporated letters into his sculptures in a diverse manner, on curtains, gongs, or the human body. This intersection of language with the human body is one of the foundations of Plensa’s work, as the artist explains, “one letter appears to be nothing, it is humble, but joined to others they form words, words form texts, and from texts we get thoughts.”
The sculptor began using the Latin alphabet in his pieces before incorporating others; Arabic, Hebrew, Chinese, and Japanese, to name but a few. According to Plensa, each letter has a unique beauty, but all of them together are a demonstration of the diversity of the world and the cohabitation between different cultures. Other themes are also present in this exhibition, including; silence, dreams, desires, music, and family. Linked with the exhibition, a catalogue has been created with a reproduction of the works on display as well as an introduction by the commissioner of the exhibition: Javier Molins.
The exhibition will be on display from the 25th of November 2022 until the 19th of March 2023.
Report by Danny Weller
Article copyright ‘24/7 Valencia’
‘Jaume Plensa. Poesia del silencio‘
From November 23 2022 to March 19 2023
Address: Plaza Tetuán 23, Valencia, ES 46003
Phone: +34 960 64 58 40
Jaume Plensa: https://jaumeplensa.com/