Jaume Plensa - New Now London Tuesday, December 15, 2020 | Phillips
  • "Lately I feel the need to work with smaller sculptures. And you know that this is really more difficult than working on large sculptures?" —Jaume Plensa

    Executed in 2010, To R.M. Rilke presents a crouching figure in bronze. Its body made of letters allows us to see the way Plensa plays on interior versus exterior, light versus dark and nature versus creator, on a more intimate scale. “I had never done this before”. He explains. “Lately I feel the need to work with smaller sculptures. And you know that this is really more difficult than working on large sculptures? But it’s true, they are gems. Letters are graphically very nice. They were revised and cleaned up over the generations, until they were reduced to essential signs. Can you imagine a better way to represent a culture than with the alphabet? I do not know, I am like trapped by it.”i The Catalonian born artist is one of the world’s foremost sculptors in the public realm with celebrated projects spanning the globe. Having been the recipient of multiple awards, recently including the Honorary Doctorate from Univeristat Aut’onoma de Barcelona in 2018, Plensa has established himself as one of the most significant living sculptors to this day.

    To R.M. Rilke is an alluring example of his notorious text-based sculptures which wholly transform the environments they inhabit. Often seen captivating the everyday spaces of our world, his incorporation of the alphabet does not seek to read a specific message but rather to use language as a metaphor. As a result, we are left contemplating the figure, such is the artists desire to leave his work open to our interpretation. Plensa seeks to connect with his viewers on an intuitive level in To R.M. Rilke. The mystic, dreamlike qualities of the work speak to its audience and in turn fill the room with an invisible energy, representing the power of words. A stunning microcosm of the major themes that guide Plensa’s sculptural practice, and his ideas about human existence at large, To R.M. Rilke stands strong in Plensa’s oeuvre.

    i Barbara Sansone, ‘The Poetics of the Intangible. A conversation with Jaume Plensa’ Digimag, Issue 57, September 2010, online

    • Provenance

      Lelong Gallery, Paris
      Acquired from the above by the present owner


To R.M. Rilke

incised with the artist's initials and number 'JP 5/8' on the underside
27 x 16 x 16 cm (10 5/8 x 6 1/4 x 6 1/4 in.)
Executed in 2010, this work is number 5 from an edition of 8.

Full Cataloguing

£40,000 - 60,000 

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New Now

London Auction 15 December 2020