Thinking on Blake and more art by Jaume Plensa

Thinking on Blake, 2010
31 x 23 cm (h x w)
etching using polymer plates
black ink and gauffrage on Capellades handmade abaca fiber paper
not for sale
[Des Moines Art Center Permanent Collections; Gift of the Des Moines Art Center Print Club, 2010.120]

(Commissioned Print & Gift Print, 2010)

Installed in major public venues throughout the world, Jaume Plensa’s large sculptures are anti-monuments. Incorporating air, letters, running water, and photographs of faces, into his highly imaginative—even playful—works, Plensa’s sculptures celebrate the varied and democratic collectivity of humanity, rather than the triumph of individuals.

Plensa’s many etchings and artist’s books reflect his interest in poetry and his love of the material qualities of paper. He frequently makes prints that combine printing and embossing on handmade papers. Strong black printed shapes contrast with delicate shadows cast by embossed low relief. In Thinking on Blake, two silhouetted figures share a line from “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell” by British poet William Blake (1757–1827). The phrase, “No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings,” comes from the poem’s litany of paradoxes.

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