Jaume Plensa has created an wide range of works that often extend into the public realm. He has produced more than thirty-five site-specific sculptural installations across the globe in such cities as Chicago, Dubai, London, Liverpool, Tokyo, and Vancouver. The artist frequently combines aluminum, bronze, glass, marble, and steel with less tangible elements, such as light, water, sound, and video. Regardless of the form they take, all of Plensa’s monumental works are intended to arouse emotion and incite discussion among those who experience them.
Plensa’s larger-than-life bust, Laura, evokes classical sculpture and was constructed using the ancient Roman technique of stacking white marble slabs, which he sourced from a quarry in Macael in southeast Spain, around a lead center for additional support. The artist concealed the sculpture’s interior strength with a façade of curvilinear forms that make up the luminous, meditative features of a young woman. In the artist’s own words, “Laura is the portrait of a fourteen-year-old Mediterranean girl from Barcelona. Her eyes close in a dream-state position emphasizing the interior path, our world of dreams and ideas. The elongation of the head transforms the physical aspects of the portrait into a spiritual flame. I chose this girl for her classic kind of beauty. A timeless beauty.”