Millennium Park Chicago: Heads Up for Plensa's "1004 Portraits" Installation

Millennium Park Chicago: Heads Up for Plensa's "1004 Portraits" Installation

Look out for some "big girls" coming to Chicago this summer when Jaume Plensa's “1004 Portraits,” sculpture installation takes over Millennium Park.  The larger-than-life exhibition opens June 18 in celebration of the Park's 10th anniversary.

Things are sure to be looking up for visitors to the Park when they will be greeted by Plensa's four massive sculptures towering over the crowd.

Measuring in as tall as 38-feet, "the girls," are the creation of the world-renowned Spanish sculptor, Plensa who is already known and beloved by Chicagoans as the creator of the Park's iconic Crown Fountain.

The "girls" will be positioned in the park in conjunction with Crown Fountain to complement the story of its 1000 LED portraits of Chicago residents that illuminate the space.

The serene, dreamlike portraits are expected to provide a peaceful counterbalance to the Fountain--a popular gathering spot for children (and adults) to cool off on hot summer days in the fountain's mist.

Girl number one, the “Looking Into My Dreams, Awilda” sculpture--magnificent in scale--is the tallest of the girls at 38-feet.  Awilda invites visitors who enter the park at Michigan Avenue and Madison street to stop, stare and contemplate--then hopefully take a break from the frenetic energy and distractions of city life and enjoy the tranquility of the park.

The other three girls, “Laura,” “Paula” and “Ines,” will be installed in the South Boeing Gallery (immediately east of the Crown Fountain) and stand 18 feet tall.  Despite their great materiality, these cast iron sculptures emote a hologram-like quality.

"These four portraits are each individually awe-inspiring but in this configuration also perfectly extend the powerful grandeur of Mr. Plensa’s Crown Fountain into the surrounding areas of Millennium Park,” said Donna La Pietra, chair of the Millennium Park Foundation.

For those interested in learning more, Plensa will host a free public discussion of his work Monday, June 16, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in Fullerton Hall at the Art Institute of Chicago, (111 S. Michigan).

In addition, eight new sculptures from Plensa’s iconic series of heads will be on display at the Richard Gray Gallery in Chicago from June 12 to September 27 and his “Silent Music” will be on display on the grounds of the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park all summer.

The free "1004 Portraits" exhibition opens to the public on Wednesday, June 18 and continues through December 2015.

Millennium Park is located on Michigan Avenue, bordered by Randolph St. to the north, Columbus Dr. to the east and Monroe St. to the south. The Park is open 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.  Parking is available in the Millennium Park Garage (entrance on Columbus at Monroe or Randolph) and Grant Park North.  For more information, click here.

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