October 8, 2009
By ROBERT MILLER
A major new sculpture plaza featuring a monumental piece by contemporary Spanish artist Jaume Plensa and a staircase at the entrance to Southern Methodist University's Meadows Museum were dedicated Tuesday evening.
The renovated plaza and the Plensa sculpture, costing an estimated $1.75 million, were made possible through the generosity of Nancy Hamon and the late Jake Hamon, the Eugene McDermott Foundation, the Meadows Foundation, the Pollock Foundation, the family of Mr. and Mrs. Richard R. Pollock, the family of Lawrence S. Pollock III and others.
The Plensa sculpture is the first Meadows Museum piece to be obtained through a combination of gifts and matching funds from the Meadows Foundation, which committed in 2006 to match new gifts for acquisitions.
"The new sculpture plaza and the Plensa acquisition represent an extraordinary gift to the Dallas community by some of its leading arts patrons," said SMU President R. Gerald Turner.
"We are deeply grateful for the vision and generosity of these donors. Their gifts, enriching both the university and the city, are part of SMU's Second Century Campaign, launched in 2008 with a goal of $750 million."
An overlook on the plaza provides a dramatic view of Santiago Calatrava's Wave, permanently installed below, at street level.
"New landscaping and seating invite visitors to linger and enjoy this public art space," said José Bowen, dean of SMU's Meadows School of the Arts.
Plensa's sculpture, Sho, represents a female head formed by white-painted stainless steel mesh. The sculpture is a portrait of a young Chinese girl named Sho whom the artist met in his native Barcelona, where his studio is located.
"Plensa's Sho marks the most important acquisition of a work by a living artist into the Meadows collection since the commissioning of Calatrava's Wave in 2001," said Meadows Museum director Mark Roglán. "The newly redesigned plaza, created by Dallas-based Swiss architect Thomas Krähenbühl of TKTR, will provide an ideal setting from which to experience Sho, as well as other sculptures from the Meadows collection – a true gift to Dallas that is free for all to enjoy."
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