Beauty scale

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park unveils new visitor center featuring acclaimed ‘Crown Fountain’ artist – his largest interior work to date


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  • Photo by Laura Medina
  • “Utopia” by Jaume Plensa has been specially commissioned for the new visitor center in the gardens and sculpture park Frederik Meijer.

Good things come in small packages, but in the case of a work soon to be unveiled by one of the most important living artists, the good things come in 19-foot-tall portraits spanning the walls of a new visitor center at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids.

“Utopia” is the largest interior work by acclaimed Spanish artist, Jaume Plensa, who is known the world over for his stunning large-scale outdoor sculptures, such as his famous installation “Crown Fountain” located in the Chicago’s Millennium Park, as well as his interpretation of the human face and the universal ways in which we use our face to communicate who we are to the world.

“Meijer Gardens is thrilled beyond words to work again with Jaume to secure what I know to be an iconic work of art celebrating the art, the diversity of life brought by people around the world and how beauty
can really make the world a better place, ”said David Hooker, President and CEO of Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, in a press release. “Our hope is that the whole world can experience Utopia and have their life
enriched. ”

Click to enlarge
“Utopia” by Jaume Plensa has been specially commissioned for the new visitor center in the gardens and sculpture park Frederik Meijer.  - PHOTO BY MICHAEL MORAN

  • Photo by Michael Moran
  • “Utopia” by Jaume Plensa has been specially commissioned for the new visitor center in the gardens and sculpture park Frederik Meijer.

“Utopia” finds a permanent home along the walls of the Garden Pavillion, a 7,400 square foot room located in the newly expanded and updated Visitor Center of the Sculpture Park and 69,000 square feet designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects. The specially commissioned piece is Plensa’s largest interior work to date.

Carved from white marble, “Utopia” was created in Barcelona and consists of four 19 foot tall portraits of young women, all of different nationalities and origins. According to a press release, the “faces represent universal symbols of the beauty inherent in mankind.”

“Utopia” will be on display to the general public from Tuesday, November 30.

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