CALGARY, July 9, 2012 /CNW/ - Calgary soon joins the ranks of London,
Chicago, Dubai and Tokyo as the installation of commissioned sculptures
by one of the world's foremost sculptors, Jaume Plensa, begins at the
foot of THE BOW.
Wonderland, a work by the Spanish sculptor, will rise on the plaza of THE BOW, 500
Centre Street S.E., over the summer, with completion expected by late
fall. The sculpture, a 12-metre tall bent-wire portrait of a young
girl, will be the key feature of the main plaza area. A second piece by the artist is a bronze sculpture, titled Alberta's Dream, that will be located on the northwest podium of the plaza.
The artwork was commissioned after a public art selection jury made up
of local and international representatives from the art community chose
Mr. Plensa to design a significant visual legacy for the plaza.
"Calgary rightfully boasts of a number of important examples of public
art produced by local creators. To these, we are now adding two
fascinating pieces done by the renowned Spaniard, Jaume Plensa," says
Dr. Ann Davis, member of the artist selection jury and former Director
of The Nickle Arts Museum at the University of Calgary. "The jury
selected Plensa because of his past record of artistic excellence, his
ability to produce novel monumental works and his sensitivity to
Calgary and THE BOW site. I am sure Wonderland will be a stunning, iconic piece, a must-see for Calgarians and
The seven-member jury embarked on a search for an established artist
whose work met the highest conceptual, aesthetic and technical
standards. Forty artists were invited to submit applications; 27
responded. These were screened further for a demonstrated understanding
of architecture and public spaces and ability to add vibrancy to those
spaces. The jury was also seeking an artist who understood the impact
of northern winters, widely varying temperatures, rain and snow, and
high winds. And - most important - they wanted an artist whose work
engages a wide audience.
"I am honoured to create this beautiful artwork for THE BOW and for
Calgary," Jaume Plensa says. "My vision for Wonderland is to inspire everyone who experiences the sculpture: I believe the
architecture of our bodies is the palace for our dreams."
Plensa's approach to public art has brought him significant recognition
throughout the world. One of his most successful works of public art in
recent years is the Crown Fountain in Chicago's Millennium Park. He
unveiled his recent public sculpture Echo presented in New York City's Madison Square Park in May 2011. Plensa
has had solo exhibitions at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas;
Musée Picasso, Antibes; Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid; among many
others. His work was recently the subject of a major solo exhibition at
the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Breton, United Kingdom.
"Admittedly, I cannot contain my excitement for this public art
installation," says Rachael Seupersad, Superintendent of Public Art for
The City of Calgary. "In the eight short years since City Council
approved the Public Art Policy, Calgary has become a leader in the
field and is internationally recognized for the quality of our public
art. These incredible sculptures by Jaume Plensa will solidify
Calgary's place as a major contributor to the contemporary dialogue
around public art and re-affirm our status as the current Cultural
Capital of Canada. Calgarians can be proud of their Public Art
Collection as we continue to realize our vision: Great Art, Great City."
These installations are being stewarded by Encana Leasehold Limited
Partnership (ELLP) as part of the overall BOW project. ELLP holds the
long-term lease for THE BOW on behalf of Cenovus Energy Inc. and Encana
Corporation, the companies that will occupy THE BOW on completion.
Photos can be found here:
SOURCE Matthews Development (Alberta) Inc.
For further information:
Morten Paulsen 403.399.3377