Saturday, 13 August 2011

Jaume Plensa at YSP


My main reason for visiting the Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) was to see the Jaume Plensa exhibition.  I first saw this artist's work on another blog (JM's Oeiras Daily Photo as far as I remember) - though I've looked again there to compare and I can't find it now!  Plensa is a Spanish artist who works on a large scale using steel, glass and neon lights.  My art guide is extremely sniffy about him ... "an example of the new academic modern orthodoxy heavily promoted by the official art establishment... [he is] only the designer, the physical creation is done anonymously, presumably in a factory..... objects made to look significant, portentous and profound by being displayed in isolation or attached to big white walls in official spaces.... what do they amount to? Profundity or banality?"

Personally, I found the pieces quite attractive and interesting (but then I'm not an art snob!)  They are accessible, not simply for looking at but for touching and exploring; I watched lots of people climbing in and out of the huge figures and the children seemed fascinated by them.  Comments on the YSP website are overwhelmingly positive too.  These photos show the massive figure called "House of Knowledge" (2008).  The one below puts it in its context in the YSP gardens and the people inside it give it scale. I like the way the willow tree echoes the shape.


(Photos taken with my Panasonic DMC-FZ18)

18 comments:

  1. Here in Nice, we have works of him, called "the conversation", showing seven men sitting on columns over the main place of the city (I already showed them on my blog). When they were put, there was a kind of scandal from people who did not like the statues. But I really LOVE them! and I love all Pensa's work, very poetic and unusual.

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  2. Strange thing, art snobbery. Stranger things, art snobs.

    This piece looks fantastic, and the fact that it's accessible, is a big 'thumbs up'.

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  3. I agree with Martin. Art snobs..... I love them too. I have seen them on another blog too. I think it was Diane @ Heart Shaped.

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  4. Thanks for the photo that showed scale, but I really liked the first shot. Your composition is as artistic as the subject! And the clouds and polarization of the sky behind really makes it sing. Jim

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  5. The art snob can go take a long walk off a short pier (says me). Art - like writing and music - is ultimately a subjective thing, even if there are critics who have a ton of training and are walking encyclopedias. I think art takes many forms. In my opinion, depending on the medium, it's the conceptualization and design that is the art, not necessarily the execution. But then again, I'd say some architectural designs are art.

    I suppose too that one can debate the merits, skills, creativity of art/music/writing. Yet ultimately I think the test is how moved people are by the work. The art critics have been wrong over and over again about the value of artists while they were alive. And so perhaps the ultimate judge is the marketplace.

    Here in Manila an installation was closed a few days ago after a public outcry that it was sacrilegious. And they say there is freedom of expression here. Enough of my rant.

    Both your shots of this Jaume Plensa piece are fabulous for different reasons. Question: you used your Panasonic because you went to the sculpture garden before you got the DSLR?

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  6. PS. In response to your note to me: you don't need to reshoot these at all... they are already magnificent photos, Jenny. As you yourself mentioned on JM's blog a few days ago, and it applies to you too, he can milk gold from a PNS! As for my statue, we are going to glue it together for our enjoyment, but as a "piece of art" it is, of course, totally ruined. That's life. There are more important things one can lose. :-)

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  7. This is fantastic! No wonder why this work was the main reason for your visit. The top shot is awesome!

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  8. Kitty at NY Portraits has a Plensa piece on her blog today. This 'alphabet' piece is, or was, in Vancouver too. I haven't looked recently to see if it's still here.

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  9. YSP is high on my list of places to visit. I think I would like this exhibition :)

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  10. If people like them that would be reason enough for the art snobs to dislike them. Fantastic pictures.

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  11. Looks special, I have never seen such a thing.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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  12. The works look amazing in photos. I would love to see it in person.

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  13. Lovely original and different. What happened to the Nikon? Did you drop it?

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  14. Quite a talking point! Your pictures are wonderful.

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  15. Hope the exhibit is still there in Sept! I love these pieces.

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  16. Critics who complain about someone else fabricating an artist's conception are missing out on a lot of art history, in which apprentices or even foundries for centuries have executed work to the plan from the creative mind of an artist.

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  17. M&H These were taken before I got my Nikon.

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  18. Both of these shots are so perfect to be able to see how really fascinating this sculpture is! ~Lili

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