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:
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.
4 thoughts on “Plensa, ALEXANDRA, alabaster, Des Moines: Best of 2011”
Oh, I love Plensa’s contemplative sculptures. I was first introduced to his work when I chanced upon Echo, one of his epic heads, in Madison Park in NYC this past summer: http://www.madisonsquarepark.org/things-to-do/calendar/jaume-plensa-in-madison-square-park
John, thanks. The guy has given our landscapes some uplift, hasn’t he?
Also, I’d be interested to know if that video works, if it conveys a decent sense of the piece, despite its uncorrectable sideways-ness.
Well, the footage is a bit disorienting, which might contradict the feeling that Plensa might want viewers to have, but that might be a good thing.
Disorienting, whew. Imagine how I felt trying to *post* the thing!