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Yorkshire Sculpture Park Opens Jaume Plensa's First Major UK Exhibition of Sculpture
Jaume Plensa, Heart Of Trees. Photo: Jonty Wilde. Courtesy of YSP.

WAKEFIELD.- From April 2011 Yorkshire Sculpture Park presents the first major UK exhibition of sculpture and drawings by Jaume Plensa, with new and recent work displayed in the Underground Gallery and surrounding landscape. The exhibition encourages a tactile and sensory exploration of his work and includes large illuminated heads, human shapes formed of letters, angels suspended from walls and inscribed gongs waiting to be struck.

Sculptures such as Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil – three large fibreglass resin ‘angels’ – will be showcased in the Underground Gallery. Suspended from the gallery walls, the figures are fixed and constrained by their human bodies yet they radiate white light to suggest the possibility of human spirit, creating an etheral installation. In The Midst Of Dreams is a group of illuminated heads with closed eyes, as though in deep contemplation, rising from a bed of white marble pebbles. Jerusalem is a circle of 11 gongs engraved with text from Song of Songs, from the Biblical text Songs of Solomon, a passionate exploration of love, eroticism, the human condition, our dreams and desires. Visitors can strike the gongs, making sound expand and fill the space again and again.

Plensa has an international reputation for major exhibitions and public art projects around the world, making sculpture, drawings, prints, acoustic installations and designs for opera and theatre. Pushing technical and artistic boundaries, his often transparent, large-scale sculptures incorporate light, sound and text, inviting the spectator’s active participation in a space where art and language, nature and culture, sound and communication collide and entwine.

A significant outdoor piece at YSP is House of Knowledge, part of a group of works in which the physical form of the body becomes architecture. With text forming a large human shape, visitors can walk inside and see the landscape through the spaces between steel letters. This 8-metre tall piece will be a stunning addition to the YSP parkland. Building on the success of YSP’s recent exhibitions, this project encourages real interaction and a particularly tactile engagement with his work that will delight and enrich.

Born and based in Barcelona, Plensa has installed numerous iconic sculptures across the globe, including Crown Fountain (2004) in Chicago's Millennium Park and Nomade (2007) in Antibes. UK projects include Breathing (2008), a memorial to international news journalists placed on the roof of BBC Broadcasting House, which projects a fine beam of light every day during the 10 O’clock news bulletin, and Dream (2009), a 20-metre high sculpture created for St Helen’s as part of Channel 4’s Big Art Project. Plensa’s work has been shown in major exhibitions at the Fundacio Joan Miro, Barcelona; Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid. He is represented in public and private collections around the world.

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