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Nasher Sculpture Center exhibit represents several firsts

February 2, 2010

The Nasher Sculpture Center is breaking ground with an exhibition by a living artist, Spanish conceptualist sculptor Jaume Plensa. That’s a first.

Some of Plensa’s pieces are interactive. Visitors can touch – in one case they have to touch. Another first.

And works installed on the front sidewalk tower 40 feet above Flora Street, yet another breakthrough.

MAX FAULKNER/Special Contributor

The artist says 11 alabaster heads of young girls, each 6 feet tall, ‘have a feeling of coming from an ancient culture, out of time.’

Photos by MAX FAULKNER/Special Contributor

La Llarga Nit , at the front of the Nasher Sculpture Center, features elevated sentries that glow a changing rainbow of colors at night.

These events are secondary, though, to the magnificent spectacle of Plensa’s pieces in the Nasher. The scale and translucence of his work are in perfect harmony with the Renzo Piano-designed galleries. The sculptures look as if they were created for the location. They work from on high and as they gracefully sweep through the interior rooms and then spill out onto the terrace and over the garden lawn.

There are 28 sculptures. Many are part of a series or work with a twin. All were made between 2004 and 2009. The two seated sentries high atop pillars at the front of the building passively watch the day go by but become electric at night, glowing a changing rainbow of colors.

Plensa says they were inspired by ancient philosophers of Constantinople who would sit high above the fray on steles and contemplate the condition of man. He calls the piece La Llarga Nit (The Long Night) after a piece by Catalan poet Vicent Andrés Estellés, who wrote that it is the responsibility of the poet to watch out for the whole community. So until May 2, the end of the run, the Dallas Arts District has art sentries on guard.

By GAILE ROBINSON / Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News

Read more at: Nasher Sculpture Center exhibit represents several firsts

Also check out Jaume Plensa’s website

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