There’s nothing like a crisp, clear autumn day to draw us outside to enjoy nature’s burst of rich colors before the days fade into winter. It’s also a perfect time to stroll the campus of the Toledo Museum of Art to see the extraordinary exhibition Jaume Plensa: Human Landscape.
Born in Barcelona, Spain, in 1955, Plensa is internationally recognized for his large figurative sculptures and installations that produce enchanting and mystifying visions of the human form as landscape. Much of his work is located in public spaces of cities in Spain, France, Japan, England, Canada and the United States. The Crown Fountain, unveiled in Chicago’s Millennium Park in 2004, is considered to be one of his most brilliant works.
It is the last chance to see so many of these outstanding works in one place before the exhibition ends on Nov. 6. Toledo is the final stop of the traveling show organized by the Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art in Nashville, Tennessee, in partnership with the Frist Center for the Visual Arts.
“Jaume is one of the most important contemporary sculptors working today,” notes Toledo Museum of Art Deputy Director Amy Gilman. “You leave his work having had a moment of reflection and thoughtfulness that is a hard thing to come by in the very data-driven and internet-connected world that we live in.”
Six of his large-scale sculptures and sculpture groups are positioned in various outdoor locations on the Museum’s campus while a selection of works on paper, including 18 drawings and 6 etchings, are on display in the Levis Galleries along with large-scale installations that hang on the walls and from the ceiling.
Paula, a massive two-ton female visage, altered and stretched looms large. The head is striking against the outdoor landscape and juxtaposed with the Museum’s neoclassical building. The Museum’s famous Glass Pavilion® designed by SANNA is the backdrop for three of Plensa’s sculptures, while his striking group The Heart of Trees is adjacent to the Center for the Visual Arts designed by Frank Gehry.
As evening falls, all of the works outdoors are washed in light, providing a visually different perspective than by day.
The Toledo showing of Jaume Plensa: Human Landscape is sponsored by ProMedica, the 2016 Exhibition Program Sponsor, and made possible in part by members of the Museum and a sustainability grant from the Ohio Arts Council. A fully illustrated color exhibition catalogue is available in the Museum Store or ordered online at tmastore.com.
Admission to the Museum and to the exhibition is free. Parking is free for Museum members and $7 for non-members. For more information, visit toledomuseum.org.