JAUME PLENSA // MAMAC, NICE (lionel)

17 03 2008

I went to Nice with Elodie and Florent to visit the Museum of Modern Art and Contemporary Art. The exhibition of the moment was dedicated to Jaume Plensa, a contemporary artist who has been invited by the city of Nice to participate in the urban development around the new tramway. I really enjoyed the exhibition, both inside and outside…

Jaume Plensa is a Spanish artist, who was born in Barcelona in 1955, and who has been famous since the beginning of the 1980s thanks to his big cast-iron forms. He has lived and worked in Berlin, Brussels, the United Kingdom and France (invited by the Studio Alexandre Calder). He lives now between Barcelona and Paris. After several steps in his work, he created sculptures with glass, synthetic resin, light, sound, water, digital images and language. He is really an inventor of forms, that’s probably why he appears to be one of the most striking sculptors of his generation. Great exhibitions show his works and he has produced a number of monumental public pieces throughout the world (Europe, United States, Japan). In the city of Nice, he made an installation on the « place Masséna » : several statues light up and slowly change color, symbolizing the dialogue between the different communities of today’s society. The figures are elevated, they seem to keep a watchful eye on the passers-by, as if they could protect them.

In the MAMAC, we find the same figures, but made of different materials, and with different connotations. Some of them, in resin, are hunged on the walls and it is possible to read some lines on their light-colored bodies, arms, faces (Doors of Jerusalem I, II, III, 2006) ; whereas others are only made with soldered iron letters (Overflow, 2007), or represent the alchemy of the tree of life (Self Portrait with Tree, 2007). Regarding his work « as a sculptor » Jaume Plensa has said that he « especially works in the domain of the ideas, and not really with the matter nor the forms, even if each idea logically implies a material and a form, but here is not his first preoccupation« . He added during an interview last year : « letters and words became my materials now… the association of the letters like body cells can create words in more complex organisms ; and the words between them can form a text that, gathered with others, can write a culture« .

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