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May 22 - November 1, 2015


Cheekwood is proud to host a major exhibition of large-scale sculptures by internationally acclaimed Spanish artist Jaume Plensa, the latest grand-scale show to be featured at the estate’s historic grounds and museum of art. Jaume Plensa: Human Landscape features outdoor and indoor installations including sculptures imagined specifically for Cheekwood’s grounds. 

Jaume Plensa: Human Landscape is the artist's largest exhibition to date in the United States. HIs best-known U.S. works include Crown Fountain in Chicago’s Millennium Park, and Echo, formerly on view in Madison Square Park in New York, now permanently sited at Olympic Sculpture Park at the Seattle Museum of Art. In 2013, Plensa was awarded the Velazquez Visual Arts Prize from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports of Spain for “the coherenceof a career in which he has thoroughly reinvented the plastic language of sculpture, integrating poetry and conceptualization in designs of great aesthetic intensity.” He was born in Barcelona in 1955, where he currently lives and works.

Jaume Plensa creates sculptures and installations that unify individuals through connections of spirituality, the body, and collective memory. Literature, psychology, biology, language, and history have remained key guiding elements throughout Plensa’s career. Using a wide range of materials—including steel, cast iron, resin, paraffi n wax, glass, light, water, and sound—Plensa lends physical weight and volume to components of the human condition and the ephemeral.

Laura with Bun
(2014) is a monumental cast-iron sculpture based on an individual portrait. At 23 feet tall this work recalls other important portrait-based sculptures by Jaume Plensa and demonstrates his ability to use a specific individual to express universal traits in great scale.
Underwritten by: Anne & Joe Russell

The Soul of Words I and II (2014) is comprised of two painted stainless steel figures shaped by symbols and letters from eight different alphabets set upon a collection of white river stones. This work invites the viewer to imagine a conversation between the two figures, and the human dialogue in which we all participate.
Underwritten by: Mrs. James C. Bradford, Jr.

Awilda and Irma (2014) continues the artist’s use of the portrait as a starting point for the creation of a work. In contrast to the sculptures made of solid material, these more open works in stainless steel “mesh” allow for light and the surrounding landscape to be part of the work. Plensa has underscored the relationship to landscape by installing the works in a pond, bringing water, light, and air together with the sculpture.
Underwritten by: Dr. & Mrs. Jeffrey B. Eskind, Jennifer & Billy Frist

The Heart of Trees (2007) is a work formed by seven bronze human figures based on the artist’s self-portrait to scale. With their arms and legs around seven living trees, this work references music and the traditional Western musical scale. Each figure contains the names
of composers, including Gershwin, Bizet, and Wagner, who represent a spectrum of composers from the 19th through 20th centuries.
Underwritten by: Mr. & Mrs. Richard M. Bracken, Mr. & Mrs. Colin Reed, Mr. & Mrs. Howard Stringer

“One thought fills immensity.” — William Blake
A great admirer of the British poet and artist William Blake, Jaume Plensa has referred to this famous quote as a reference point in Thoughts (2013). With this work Plensa captures the immeasurable power of human thought, showing a figure sitting in a meditative pose
and inscribed with swirling words and phrases on its bands of stainless steel.
Underwritten by: Mr. & Mrs. Michael Kestner, Mr. & Mrs. George B. Stadler

This metaphoric Self-Portrait (2013) represents the artist as a human figure with legs tucked up sitting inside a sphere. Composed with letters from nine alphabets, Self-Portrait asks viewers to engage with language as an artistic medium as well as a form of communication.
Underwritten by: James H. Cheek III & Nicky Weaver

Silent Music II (2013) unites the human figure with musical notes. Composed of musical notes and symbols, this work recalls the continuing impact of music on the artist, beginning as a child when he experienced a tangible and sensory experience of music. Additionally, Plensa has responded to the diversity of musical history in Nashville.
Underwritten by: Mr. & Mrs. David L. Manning

Rui Rui’s World II (2013)
Plensa’s work in the human form defies any simple chronology or classification. In 2004, the artist filmed 1000 people in Chicago for his now iconic installation of the Crown Fountain in Millennium Park. Turning to traditional materials such as bronze and marble while calling on modern technology, Rui Rui is one of 34 portraits Plensa has done over the past decade.
Underwritten by: Ellen Harrison Martin

Silent Rain, 2003
Silent Rain was Jaume Plensa’s first in a series of curtains that incorporate vertical lines of poetry and consists of eight poems by well-known poets such as William Blake, Johann Wolfgang Goethe, and Shakespeare.
Underwritten by: Luke & Susan Simons

Fire - Water, 2005
One of the galleries in the Museum is dedicated to a pair of brass gongs inscribed with words that form polarities such as matter-spirit and fire-water, proposing a space in-between that is filled by the visitor’s own experience.
Underwritten by: Ms. Carlene M. Lebous & Mr. C. Harris Haston

Rui Rui, 2013
Underwritten by: Cordia and Tom Harrington

Paula, 2013
Underwritten by: Heloise Werthan Kuhn

Marianna, 2013
Underwritten by: Ms. Joni P. Werthan, in honor of Heloise Werthan Kuhn

Awilda, 2012
Underwritten by: Dr. & Mrs. Howard S. Kirshner



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