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第1辑 September 2011/Public Art & Ecology

标题|乔玛·帕兰萨——对雕塑外形的再评估 Jaume Plensa - The Re-Evaluation of Figuration in Sculpture


公共艺术|生态 Public Art & Ecology

作者|by Stephanie Buhmann 斯蒂芬妮·布曼


Stephanie Buhmann is a freelance writer based in New York. Her articles and interviews with artists have been published by Sculpture Magazine, Art on Paper, Artcritical.com, Art Lies, Chelsea Now, The Brooklyn Rail, Kunst Bulletin, and The Villager, among others. She is a contributing editor for Artcritical.com.

节选 Excerpt


Jaume Plensa: The Re-Evaluation of Figuration in

The Work “Echo” in New York’s Madison Square Park Conservancy in Context


by Stephanie Buhmann











Artist Jaume Plensa   
Presented by Madison Square Park Conservancy.
Photo credit: James Ewing




Jaume Plensa was born in Barcelona in 1955, and lives and works there today. Over the past 25 years, Plensa has exhibited more than 30 major public art projects in countries throughout several continents. He was awarded a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture in 1993, and received an honorary doctorate in 2005 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, among other honors. His public art installations are particularly renowned, and include the legendary Crown Fountain (2000-5) in Chicago’s Millennium Park and Nomade (2007) commissioned by the Musée Picasso in Antibes, France. Plensa’s 2011 commission for Madison Square Park constitutes his long-awaited New York City public art debut. Plensa has exhibited to great acclaim at institutions including the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas; Institut Valencia d’Art Modern, Spain; the Musée Picasso, Antibes, France; the Arts Club of Chicago; Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids, Michigan; Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid and Galerie National du Jeu de Paume, Paris. Plensa has been a professor and lecturer at the école Nationale des Beaux-Arts and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.



In the course of three decades, the Spanish artist Jaume Plensa (B. 1955) has achieved something extraordinary: he has bestowed a new sense of poeticism to contemporary figurative sculpture.
In painting, the debate over figuration, whether it is momentarily “in” or “out,” swings consistently like a pendulum. In comparison, sculpture has seen too little expressive variety in the past seventy years to even raise the question. To depict the figure, especially in as traditional a material as marble (a material Plensa uses on occasion), is not only a challenge for any contemporary, but it simply is deemed unfashionable. Too strong are the references to Greek and Roman sculptures, whose inherent skill and simple elegance seem unreachable to most. Too dominant are the accomplishments of abstract sculptors, such as David Smith, Donald Judd, or Richard Serra, who have shaped post-modern aesthetics. While there certainly have been artists working in figuration, their works usually gained recognition for extremes. It takes the hyperrealism of a Ron Mueck’s or the ceaseless shock value of Maurizio Cattelan’s work, for figurative sculpture to be discussed as cutting-edge.





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