Jaume Plensa at Montserrat
Jaume Plensa is an artist of materials, sensations and ideas. His references embrace the world of literature, poetry, music and thought. And that is how he has joined the constellation of universal Catalans. That is also why Montserrat is honoured to offer a space for the exhibition of a large sculpture installed in the atrium of the basilica and this display of the artist’s engravings.
In his successive artistic periods, Plensa has increasingly refined his concepts and language, making them more essential and direct. His work has depth and expresses his creative and spiritual energy, because the artist is a man who both thinks and feels deeply. Nothing he does is banal; everything is substance and essence, without adornments or additions. This is also his way of being and existing in the world.
The poetry of Jaume Plensa rests upon the bases of body and spirit, matter and the void. The figures he makes, beyond filling a volumetric space, breath and exhale spirit and the undefined beyond. They may be faithful portraits of their subjects, but immediately aspire to another universal, nearly Platonic dimension. They are the archetypal man, woman or child we all have in our minds.
Some of his works show a face or a head, which says everything that needs saying. Often their eyes are closed, as if in meditation. The grandeur of his sculptural work, such as Anna in the Montserrat Atrium, could never be described as colossal, as these works are never monumental. They are ideas that float in the air, never losing their touch of purity and innocence that spurred his original inspiration.
Plensa is a restless spirit, always in search of new ideas and visions of the world. He has passion for far-off cultures, especially Asian, in which he finds a foundation and similitude to his aesthetic convictions. Like many artists touched by Zen, obsessed by Japanese calligraphy (shodo), Plensa has turned the handwriting and music symbols into constructive elements, figures and forms that express the importance of culture and the imaginary world of the artist.
This selection includes prints with some of the best-known motifs of his recent sculptural work: the meditative human figure, faces, cosmic spheres and musical resonances. Plensa, transparent at Montserrat.
Josep de C. Laplana
Director of the Museum of Montserrat