Echo (2011), a dramatic 46-foot-tall sculpture by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa will be installed on the shoreline of the Seattle Art Museum
s Olympic Sculpture Park beginning on March 31. The installation is estimated to be completed by late spring. Plensa is an internationally celebrated sculptor working in the public space, with over 30 projects spanning the globe in such cities as Chicago, Dubai, London, Liverpool, Tokyo, Toronto, and New York.
Echo has been given to the Seattle Art Museum from the collection of Barney A. Ebsworth. It was originally commissioned by the Madison Park Association in New York and installed at Madison Square Park in 2011 to great acclaim. It is made from resin, steel and coated in marble dust.
Echois named for the mountain nymph of Greek mythology who offended the goddess Hera by keeping her engaged in conversation, and preventing her from spying on one of Zeuss amours. To punish Echo, Hera deprived the nymph of speech, except for the ability to repeat the last words of another. Plensa modeled the work after a young girl known to the artist. Rising from the center of the park with her eyes closed, it will be luminous in both day and night.
In this monumental creation, Echo listens with her eyes closed in a state of meditation. From the sculpture park, she will face Puget Sound in the direction of Mount Olympus, visible from land and water.
Plensa was born in 1955 and currently lives in Barcelona. He has also developed site-specific public workssome of his most celebrated works include Crown Fountain in Chicago; Breathingat the BBC Headquarters, London; Bridge of Light, Jerusalem; and World Voices at the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
Upcoming exhibitions include City Art Museum + H2 Center for Contemporary Art + Gasometer, Ausburg, Germany (Spring-Summer, 2014) and Millennium Park in Chicago (June, 2014-Summer 2015).