Talk: Jaume Plensa, “Architecture Is Art…Is Architecture Art?”
Wed, Nov 20, 2013, 6–7 pm
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.
The winner of many national and international awards including the 2012 National Visual Arts Award of Spain, Jaume Plensa has had solo museum exhibitions at the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas; Arts Club of Chicago; Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid, Spain; and Galerie National du Jeu de Paume, Paris, among numerous others. His work is included in the permanent collection of major museums world-wide. Plensa’s work in the public space is equally important to him, with over 30 projects spanning the globe such as Breathing (2005) at the BBC building in London; Conversation in Nice (2007), Place Massena, Nice, France; World Voices (2009), Dubai, UAE; Ogijima’s Soul (2010), Japan; Tolerance (2011), Madison Square Park, New York; Olhar nos meus Sonhos (Awilda) (2012), Rio de Janeiro; and most recently Wonderland (2008–2012), Calgary.
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.