Jaume Plensa 2011
Jaume Plensa’s Echo is a monumental, site-specific sculpture that depicts the head and face of a nine-year-old girl towering forty-four feet above the central Oval Lawn of historic Madison Square Park. The work marks Plensa’s long-awaited New York City public space debut, and constitutes the largest monolithic work of art to be presented in Mad. Sq. Art’s seven-year history.
Echo depicts a nine-year-old girl from Plensa’s Barcelona neighborhood. She stands forty-four feet tall at the center of the park’s expansive Oval Lawn, lost in her thoughts. Echo‘s towering stature and white, dusted marble surface harmoniously reflect the historic limestone buildings that surround the park. Monumental in size but inviting in subject, the statue’s peaceful visage creates a tranquil and introspective atmosphere amid the cacophony of central Manhattan.
Plensa’s sculpture also refers to an episode in Greek mythology in which the loquacious nymph Echo is forced to repeat only the thoughts of others. The calm of Plensa’s Echo offers the opposite: a quiet counterpoint to the voices of the thousands of daily visitors to Madison Square Park.
About the Artist
Jaume Plensa was born in Barcelona in 1955, and lives and works there today. Over the past twenty-five years, Plensa has produced more than thirty major exhibitions on several continents. He was awarded a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture in 1993, and received an honorary doctorate in 2005 from School of the Art Institute of Chicago, among other honors. His public art installations are particularly renowned, and include the legendary Crown Fountain (2000-2005) in Chicago’s Millennium Park and Nomade (2007) commissioned by Musée Picasso in Antibes, France. Plensa has exhibited to great acclaim at institutions including Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas; Institut Valencia d’Art Modern, Spain; Musée Picasso, Antibes, France; Arts Club of Chicago; Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids, Michigan; Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid and Galerie National du Jeu de Paume, Paris. Plensa has been a professor and lecturer at École Nationale des Beaux-Arts and School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Plensa is represented by Galerie Lelong in New York and by Richard Gray Gallery in Chicago.
Substantial Sponsorship for Echo is provided by MANGO, Tiffany & Co., and Galerie Lelong. Support for Echo is provided by Roberta and Michael Joseph, Toby Devan Lewis, Gerald Lippes and Jody Ulrich, Ronald A. Pizzuti, Danny and Audrey Meyer, Sorgente Group, Time Out New York, Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Ace Hotel New York, NYC & Company, and Anonymous patrons. Delta Air Lines is the official airline of Mad. Sq. Art. This project is supported in part with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council. Mad. Sq. Art is made possible by the leadership and generosity of the many friends of the Madison Square Park Conservancy.
New York Times
The Epoch Times