Jaume Plensa: Behind the Walls 

Behind the Walls

Artist: Jaume Plensa

Jaume Plensa, Behind the Walls, 2018, Polyester resin and marble dust, 750 x 278 x 310 cm. Museum purchase made possible by J. Ira and Nikki Harris Family. 2020/2.1. Photography by Patrick Young, Michigan Imaging


Sometimes, our hands are the biggest walls. They can cover our eyes, and we can blind ourselves to so much of what’s happening around us.

Jaume Plensa

For this 24 ½-foot outdoor sculpture, Spanish artist Jaume Plensa constructed a towering figure of a teenage girl, who shields herself from the outside world by covering her eyes with her hands. Previously installed at Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, the work is part of an ongoing series, in which the artist monumentalizes the likenesses of young women in public spaces. The protective gesture seen in this particular sculpture speaks to the weight that societal turbulence and uncertainty places upon an individual. 

And yet, as the artwork provokes reflection on exclusion and concealment, it also urges viewers to recognize their individual responsibility in addressing issues of global relevance, and brings into question the possibility of true retreat from an interconnected world. 

Jaume Plensa is best known for large-scale public artworks, such as Crown Fountain (2004), an iconic interactive video sculpture in Chicago’s Millennium Park.

Installation Timelapse

Watch as two days of installation work for Behind The Walls takes places over the course of just 44 seconds

Photo Gallery


Behind the Walls is a Museum purchase made possible by the J. Ira and Nicki Harris Family