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Jaume Plensa: Glückauf? / The Heart of Trees

March 03 – December 04, 2011
Visitors walk through and interact with Glückauf?, made by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa, who lives and works in Barcelona and Paris. Photo by J Caldwell.
Jaume Plensa, The Heart of Trees
Jaume Plensa, The Heart of Trees, 2007. Bronze, earth, trees. Courtesy of the artist and Richard Gray Gallery. Photo by Wendy Hower.

The Nasher Museum presented two installations of sculpture by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa, who lives and works in Barcelona and Paris. Visitors were invited to walk through and interact with Glückauf?, on view in the permanent collection gallery. Curtains of strung letters spelled out the text of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The document was adopted by the United Nations in 1948 as a response to the atrocities of World War II. The word glückauf is a good luck wish in German. On the front lawn of the museum, The Heart of Trees installation brought six live trees to the winter landscape. Each tree was accompanied by seated self-portraits of the artist, cast in bronze, with arms and legs wrapped around the trunks. The figures were inscribed with names of composers, including Ludwig van Beethoven, Béla Bartók, and George Gershwin. For Plensa, the body becomes a vessel for information, a surface on which to record words. Both installations were made possible by Paula Crown and Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago.

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