In Venice’s 400-year-old Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, Spanish artist Jaume Plensa has debuted a marvelous exhibition of his latest work. When visitors enter the magnificent basilica, they are greeted by two of Plensa’s large-scale sculptural installations, which are part of his “Together” presentation for the 2015 Venice Art Biennale, a national artistic showcase that began in 1893. Within the church’s vast interior, the passionate artist positioned eye-catching sculptures of a head and hand that work together, representing the human relationship to space, size, and material.
The stainless steel hand was formed using characters from eight different languages, while the head is made from spacious metallic mesh. Both detailed works are meant to engage viewers in a spiritual and intellectual conversation, uniting them based on a common human experience. An installation of thorough drawings accompanies the sculptor’s display, along with five alabaster portraits that were created using scans of real women. All the exhibition’s pieces work in sync with the themes of light, human connection, and a unique sense of perspective.
Claire Lilly is the curator of this particular display, who stated that the gifted artist’s desire to break down barriers “will connect people of many faiths and of no faith. Plensa’s sculptures do not impose themselves on these historic spaces; rather they capture and reflect the actual light and shadows within to communicate a metaphorical language. Both visually stunning and intimate, they draw our attention to a world where migration and difference challenge civilized behavior.”