June 17 Art Minute: Jaume Plensa, “Spiegel”

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Jaume Plensa (Spanish, born 1955), Spiegel. Painted stainless steel, 2010. 148 ½ x 92 ½ x 96 1/2 inches each. Purchased with funds given by Rita Barbour Kern and Gift of Mrs. George M. Jones, Jr., by exchange, 2012.84A–B. Welles Sculpture Garden

Jaume Plensa (Spanish, born 1955), Spiegel. Painted stainless steel, 2010. 148 ½ x 92 ½ x 96 1/2 inches each. Purchased with funds given by Rita Barbour Kern and Gift of Mrs. George M. Jones, Jr., by exchange, 2012.84A–B. Welles Sculpture Garden

German for “mirror” or “looking glass,” Spiegel shows two identical giants, hugging their knees and facing one another, though they are technically faceless. They are nearly bodiless as well: the figures are hollow screens given shape by a painted steel latticework of letters from the Latin alphabet interspersed with Greek letters and Chinese characters. The pair seems to be communing rather than confronting one another, but it’s hard to say whether they’re communicating.

Related Program

Artist Talk: Jaume Plensa in Conversation with Associate Director Amy Gilman

June 23: 6 p.m., Peristyle
Renowned Spanish artist Jaume Plensa sits down with the Toledo Museum of Art’s Associate Director Amy Gilman to discuss his exhibition Jaume Plensa: Human Landscape, which ranges in scale from monumental outdoor sculptures to fragile, intimate works on paper.


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