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Talk: Jaume Plensa, “Architecture Is Art…Is Architecture Art?”

Wed, Nov 20, 2013, 6–7 pm


Photo: Laura Medina @ Plensa Studio Barcelona

Barcelona-based conceptual artist Jaume Plensa has produced a rich body of work over the past 30 years and is best known in Chicago for Crown Fountain in Millennium Park. Plensa discusses his practice and engages in a dialog with moderator Reed Kroloff, Director of the Cranbrook Academy of Art and Museum, about art and architecture.

The Architecture Is Art talks series examines the intersections and blurred boundaries between the professional practice and creative process of architects and contemporary artists. The series explores how architects and artists identify their work, where they turn for inspiration, how their process and presentation materials are interpreted, and when it’s useful or necessary to distinguish the disciplines of art and architecture for viewers.

Presented in collaboration with Chicago Architecture Foundation

About the artist

Jaume Plensa combines conventional media (glass, steel, bronze, aluminum), unconventional media (water, space, sound, video), and frequently text, to create hybrid works of intricate energy and psychology. Plensa continually pursues new creative directions, and thus, his work refuses easy aesthetic categorization. From intimate and delicately textural works on paper—like his 2005–06 series of ethnographic portraits, counter-intuitively named Self Portraits that resemble worn, 19th-century photographs—to massive, outdoor sculptures like Echo (2011) and a plethora of cityscape-altering public projects like Crown Fountain in Chicago (2000–04), Plensa’s work takes many forms.


Architecture Is Art is made possible through the generous support of the Graham Foundation, Richard and Mary Gray, Sandra and Jack Guthman, Dirk Lohan, and the National Endowment for the Arts.