Spanish contemporary art worldwide
CHICAGO. Jaume Plensa “One Thought Fills Immensity/ Secret Garden” Richard Gray Gallery and Gray Warehouse
14 september – 11 november, 2017
Richard Gray Gallery is pleased to announce two exhibitions of work by the Spanish artist Jaume Plensa. At Gray Warehouse, Secret Garden presents recent sculptures in wood, stainless steel, and bronze in conjunction with a new suite of drawings. The exhibition continues at Richard Gray Gallery’s Hancock space with a portrait series carved in alabaster, as well as a second exhibition of historical works titled One Thought Fills Immensity. Featuring works from 1989 to 2002, One Thought Fills Immensity offers a deeper view into the artist’s prolific career. The two exhibitions open with a public reception for the artist at Gray Warehouse on Thursday, September 14 from 6-8 pm. Secret Garden will be the second exhibition to take place at the gallery’s newly inaugurated space.
An exhibition walk-through and Q&A with Jaume Plensa and curator Brooke Kamin Rapaport will take place at Gray Warehouse on Friday, September 15 at 10:30 am.
Secret Garden is a rumination on silence and introspection. In this exhibition, Jaume Plensa expands his study of portraiture, a theme central to the artist’s practice since his creation of Chicago’s Crown Fountain in 2004. The exhibition features a new body of work in wood, stainless steel, bronze, and alabaster, and a suite of works on paper. It marks the international debut of a new series of portraits rendered for the first time in stainless steel. The material’s luminous surface echoes the lightness and fragility of his models’ serene expressions. Seeking to connect with his viewers on an intuitive level, Plensa’s use of material conveys and inspires quiet thoughtfulness. Secret Garden posits the mind and body as spaces of great potential. For Plensa, silence is an essential and vital component for contemplation and the activation of this potential. The exhibition opens with Julia’s Words, a carved wood sculpture suspended from the ceiling. The girl presses her finger against her lips, requesting silence. With this gesture Plensa questions the efficacy of verbal communication and asks his viewers to seek growth and potential from within.
The pursuit of self-knowledge is a central concept in Plensa’s studio practice. In his work, he consistently creates physical and psychological spaces within the din of the everyday that encourage quietude and allow for abstract thought. One Thought Fills Immensity borrows its title from William Blake’s Proverbs of Hell, 1790. As an avid reader of literature, Plensa finds much inspiration in the work of poets like José Ángel Valente, William Blake, and Elias Canetti. On Blake the artist states, “‘One thought fills immensity’ [is] a marvelous concept in which our ideas are expanding out [and] filling up the space, not with physical objects, but with energy.” This pursuit of a heightened awareness and inquiry is articulated across Plensa’s oeuvre. One Thought Fills Immensity features important early works such as Firenze II (1992), the first work in which Plensa took the concept of the question as a point of departure. (Richard Gray press-release)
Richar Grey Gallery . 875 NORTH MICHIGAN AVENUE. 38TH FLOOR. CHICAGO, IL 60611
GRAY WAREHOUSE. 2044 WEST CARROLL AVENUE. CHICAGO, IL 60612
Image: Isabella.2016. Jaume Plensa.