Jaume Plensa (Spanish, born 1955), Laura, 2013, basalt, 84 1/2 × 28 × 27 1/2 inches, Museum purchase with funds provided by the Faye and Herman Sarkowsky Foundation, 2014.97.1
Jaume Plensa (Spanish, born 1955), Awilda, 2014, basalt, 79 × 29 1/2 × 27 1/2 in., Museum purchase with funds provided by the Faye and Herman Sarkowsky Foundation, 2014.97.2
Jaume Plensa is well-known for his monumental public art projects installed throughout the world, including a series of large-scale female heads in a variety of materials. These portraits are of young girls on the cusp of becoming women. Plensa captures the ephemeral beauty and power in this time of transition and change. Their eyes are closed giving them a dream-like appearance and the faces are elongated transforming their features into a flame.
Plensa expresses that “the face is a gift for others, [it is the] one part of the body we cannot see naturally.”
Awilda: Originally, the sculpture Awilda, on the right, was titled Looking into my Dreams, and Plensa thinks of her as in a dream-world. “[Awilda] was a young girl when I made this, maybe nine. She is from the Dominican Republic. Her eyes are closed because
we keep beauty inside ourselves, and…we all need to look inside.” –Jaume Plensa
Laura: Plensa creates female figures because he believes the future lies with women, and their eyes are closed as if envisioning what is to come. “Laura [he says] is the portrait of a fourteen-year old Mediterranean girl from Barcelona. Her eyes close in a dream-state position emphasizing the interior path, our world of dreams and ideas. I chose this girl for her classic kind of beauty. A timeless beauty.” –Jaume Plensa