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  • Writer's pictureDimitri Ozerkov

Presentation of Jaume Plensa’s work Carlota as part of the Sculpture in the Courtyard project

On 8 October 2019, the Great Courtyard of the Winter Palace was the setting for the presentation of the exhibition “Jaume Plensa: Carlota” that has been organized as part of the annual Sculpture in the Courtyard project.

Taking part in the event were the exhibition curators Dimitri Ozerkov, head of the State Hermitage’s Department of Contemporary Art, and Elisey Zakharenkov, junior researcher in the same department, and also Stefan Andresson, Director of the Galleri Andersson/Sandström.

Jaume Plensa was born in Barcelona in 1955. The Spanish sculptor has achieved considerable fame and worldwide recognition with his large-scale sculptural installations. The artist’s works are exhibited in galleries and museums, as well as urban public spaces. His gigantic works have become part of the cityscape in many places, including Chicago, London, Montreal, Tokyo and London.

In the work entitled Carlota, Plensa displays his brilliant ability to create illusions. He constructs a sculptural head in such a way that it seems to have correct proportions and to be three-dimensional. The closer the viewer gets, the more obvious the distortion and elongation of the figure become and the optical effect that the sculptor employed is revealed. The artist’s striving to deceive our perception is also emphasized by the choice of material. The sculpture is made of cast iron, yet the stretched proportions and the surfaces that reflect light give the piece a light, elegant appearance.

In his work, Plensa often repeats the image of Carlota, varying the scale and material. The artist forces the viewer to freeze on the boundary of two worlds: the material and the illusory. Plensa depicts his model with her eyes shut, as if calling on those looking at the eyes closed for an instant to go inside themselves and think about their deceived sense of sight. In the sculptor’s opinion, Carlota symbolizes human dreams that become visible and tangible when people close their eyes.

The exhibition has been prepared as part of the Hermitage 20/21 project that aims to collect, exhibit and study art of the 20th and 21st centuries.

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