Opening:03 Dic, 2020
Opening to public:03 Dic, 2020
Jaume Plensa presents “La Llarga Nit” at Galeria Senda, an exhibition in which he praises the mysteriousness of the night, capable of infusing both stillness and inspiration to the soul of every poet. The works included in the exhibition- ranging from grandiose sculptures suspended by subtle strings, to delicate works on paper- present themselves as a polyphonic choir of figures of dormant and silent appearances, of which a lyrical and contemplative dimension, typical of the spanish artist, stands out. With this new display, which reflects upon the dilation of time imposed by recent global socio-political changes, Plensa suggests that by having been forced to stop the machinery of doing, humanity is putting the machinery of thought into action once again, one which will generate new forms of modus vivendi in the world.
“You weren’t born just to be asleep; you were born to contemplate the long night of your village”
Vicent Andrés Estellés, Propietats de la pena (translation)
A literary imagery characteristic of Blake, Shakespeare or Goethe, among other renowned authors of the past who accompany Plensa in his creative process, the stillness of twilight is a recurrent theme which emerges constantly from the artist’s work throughout his forty years of career. It is in the night’s silence that words, which seek to tell the truth of things, flourish in the artist’s mind, to shape themselves into his work. Darkness isn’t absence of light, it is poetry. Darkness takes you away from reality, it projects images found in one’s memory; it expands space and time. It accompanies man in his hopes of overcoming the limitations of being present and reaching another timeless dimension of poetic imagination. The night is also the door to dreams, that dimension which hopeless romantics described as the language of the soul, which was later considered by Freud to be a privileged pathway to the subconscious’ most intimate desires. It is thus how Plensa invites us once again to close our eyes, in order to listen closely to our most profound being and to abandon the burden of thought altogether.
La Llarga Nit includes a series of large sculptures with which Plensa creates a perfect harmony between light and shadow, silence and words, time and space, idea and creation. In particular, both the dimension of sound as that of light are the invisible raw material of Plensa’s sculptural investigation, from which the human figure springs in a multiplicity of shapes.
The central piece of the exhibition, Minna’s Words presents itself as a monumental presence that simultaneously emanates peace and serenity. This portrait of a young lady, cast in bronze and suspended a few centimetres above the ground, invites silence with the gesture of a hand over her delicate mouth. Detained in a liminal space between the earth and the sky, in the fine line between profanity and divinity, this piece stands out for its symbolic and spiritual weight.
Invisible Ana is an iron mesh head, suspended by subtle strings, which levitates in the room delicately. It is part of a series of portraits Plensa has conceived like metal armour that, instead of shielding the body as a means of protection, evidentiate its fragility and suggest that vulnerability is the veritable human strength.
Almost three meters tall, Laura Asia is a bronze sculpture with which the artist continues his exploration of perspective through the figure’s distortion, a recurrent technique in a lot of his sculptures conceived for public spaces which invites the viewer to come closer to the piece and to envelop it to decipher its optical effect. When looked at directly upfront, the portrait of the young girl seems realistic, but when looked at closely it comes across as a figure that plays with the spectator’s perception. As in all of his bronze and marble portrayals, the features appear to be incredibly soft and smooth, a homage to the purity of youth.
The exhibition further presents a series of works on paper, created by the artist ex profeso for this show. With simple strokes of charcoal on Japan paper, these graceful and unique drawings echo his insatiable study of puerile physiognomies.
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Download the press release here.
Download the compilation of reviews and press articles of “La llarga nit” here.