Barcelona-based Jaume Plensa has created some of the most forward thinking figurative sculptures during an established career. His work continues to be a popular choice for use in public spaces, which is reflected with his first major UK exhibition at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. The outdoor landscape is a fitting tribute to a creator of such substance using large-scale sculptures, which incorporate the use of light.
These works have the ingenious quality of adding to the environment in which they are situated without taking anything away. As if transparent, the viewer can see these creations whilst continuing to enjoy all that the beautiful landscape has to offer. These uninterrupted views are achieved by the use of fine stainless-steel wire mesh.
Plensa combines literature & the human form, which serves to create a philosophical tone to his work. His sculptures inspire contemplation with the text used adding a deeper context also acting as a metaphor of the impact that ones life has on their being. Naming such poets as William Blake as an early influence it is clear that words provide an equal influence in his work.
Primarily concerned with exploring our internal reaction to the wider world we inhibit it seems Plensa’s message is to inspire people to search within to understand & accept themselves before we can fully experience & grasp life. The artist takes this a step further with ‘House of Knowledge’, a large sculpture, which allows the viewer to step inside to view internally, which transforms sculpture to architecture in a single step.
All photos courtesy of YSP Jonty Wilde.