Plensa, ALEXANDRA, alabaster, Des Moines: Best of 2011
December 17, 2011 by John Domini
Has 3000 pounds of alabaster ever been mistaken for gossamer? Ever, anywhere? In Des Moines, Iowa, in the final month of 2011, it might just happen. The vision was made manifest by Jaume Plensa, and here’s one man’s rough video, which I couldn’t get to stand upright:
Plensa calls the piece Alexandra. The artist is Catalan, born in Barcelona in 1955, and other memorable work of his broods over the campus of MIT, and elsewhere. Des Moines in fact has a second Plensa, Nomade, rather well-known, a peaceable giant made of letters and crowning a downtown park:
Papajohn Sculpture park, downtown Des Moines.
The Papajohn family endowed this park, and they also own Alexandra. According to the Art Center staff, this young stone ghost will haunt us only briefly, perhaps six months, while the family builds a suitable platform for her in their New York home. The girl’s evanescent, in other words, as well as preternaturally delicate.
Still, the Papajohns have been generous before. I can’t help but hope they make some arrangement that allows this Alexandra
back our way again. Would a few
months every year be too much to ask from such an Ariel? Seen one way, she’s a willowy thing of barely two dimensions; seen another, she’s a ponderous block of three. Surely she can manage more than one abode.