9 April 2011 – 22 January 2012
Free to all
Spanish artist Jaume Plensa is celebrated internationally for his tactile, inquiring sculptures and installations. He is best known for his large-scale public pieces, which include Dream, created for St Helens and supported by the Art Fund, Breathing, which sits on top of Broadcasting House and Crown Fountain in Chicago's Millennium Park.With its uniquely flexible gallery and outdoor spaces, Yorkshire Sculpture Park is able to display not only some of Plensa's recent large-scale sculptures, but also his drawings and interior pieces. On show are a 50-metre curtain of poetry made of suspended steel letters, semi-transparent figures in the landscape, fibreglass suspended 'angels' and large illuminated heads radiating white light.Plensa uses metal, resin, stone, light, sound and text to create works that establish a democratic dialogue between art and environment. The sculptures not only invite but demand the interaction of their audience, who become co-creators with the artist. They blur the edges between art, nature and language, prompting viewers to look differently at the architecture and landscapes of their daily life.
House of Knowledge is one of a group of works exploring Plensa's fascination with the architectural possibilities of the human body. An eight-metre high sculpture in the shape of a seated human figure, the outline is constructed from steel letters spelling out a text, a physical echo of the shaped poems of the Symbolists. Visitors can walk inside the sculpture (which is lit at night) and look out to see the landscape framed by the letters.Jerusalem celebrates the interactive, performative aspect of Plensa's art. A circle of 11 gongs, each engraved with texts from the Song of Songs, it invites the viewer to take a part in its creation by striking the gongs. As the individual timbres of each caress the room, they give voice to their silent texts " the words of the Song of Songs that speak so joyfully of love, fruitful nature and sexuality.Related storiesJaume Plensa's website, featuring slideshows and images.Feature from The Guardian about Plensa's The Dream of St Helens as a rival to The Angel of The North.Extended interview with Plensa originally published in Sculpture magazine in 2006.YouTube video of Jaume Plensa's keynote Address at the ISC conference.Exclusive Art Fund course at Yorkshire Sculpture Park on 13 May This exclusive afternoon, organised specially for the Art Fund, explores the relationship between art and nature, and includes a curator-led tour of the Plensa exhibition and extensive outdoor displays.The day will culminate with an unforgettable opportunity to experience sunset in James Turrell's Skyspace, commissioned by the Art Fund in 2007.You will be offered a range of refreshments in the restaurant, which has panoramic views across the parkland with its monumental Henry Moore sculptures.