Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park is honored to announce the acquisition and permanent siting of a major site-specific commission by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa. Designed and created to be an integral element of the new Meijer Gardens Welcome Center, Utopia consists of 19-foot tall portraits of four young women of different backgrounds and nationalities. Utopia will be located in the Welcome Center’s spectacular new 7,400 square-foot Garden Pavilion room. The iconic sculpture is being created in Barcelona, Spain and carved from white marble. This immense sculpture is unique to the Meijer Gardens collection and to Plensa’s prestigious body of work.
Over the past thirty years, Plensa has produced a multifaceted body of work that speaks to the capacity and beauty of humanity, often using the human figure as a universal symbol. Celebrating the similarities and shared humanity of the world’s seemingly divergent cultures, the artist seeks to connect with his viewers on an intuitive level. Meijer Gardens is privileged to enjoy a very special relationship with Plensa. Since 2006, Meijer Gardens has been home to Plensa’s I, you, she or he…, a gift from Fred & Lena Meijer. I, you, she or he…, another site-specific commission for Meijer Gardens, includes a composition of three figures seated on boulders, whose shells are made of stainless-steel letters. Faces are left open to encourage the universality of the forms, and visitors are encouraged to walk among the sculptures. The composition and setting for I, you, she or he… were selected by Plensa and he intends it to represent an ongoing, silent conversation.
“Meijer Gardens is thrilled beyond words to be once again working with Jaume to secure what I know will be an iconic work of art celebrating art, the diversity of life brought by people from around the world and how beauty can truly make the world a better place,” said David Hooker, President & CEO at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.
"Our hope is that the whole world will be able to experience Utopia and have their lives enriched." “Utopia is our human landscape, a space to embrace humanity and our collective dreams.” said Plensa.