You may know the work of Barcelona-based artist Jaume Plensa from his well-regarded installations in Chicago's Millennium Park, New York's Madison Square Park, and on the grounds of Houston, Texas's Rice University. Though Plensa works in several media (including drawing and etching), he is most closely associated with his eerie, elongated busts—rendered in ghostly-white alabaster or stainless-steel mesh, often measuring twelve feet in height or more—which have towered over patches of lush green from sea to shining sea in the U.S. and all over the world. Now, Plensa has brought his surrealist sensibility to a 400-year-old basilica as part of the 56th Venice Art Biennial, which kicked off last Saturday, May 9.
Set in the light-filled nave of Venice's Basilica of San Giorgio Maggiore, the collection of Plensa sculpture isn't all head(s) and no heart: Each is meant to provoke conversation in viewers (either with themselves or with other fair-goers) about the intellectual, emotional, and spiritual connections between the human body and the built environment. Take a look: