Open Your Eyes: Jaume Plensa's "Behind the Walls" finds a new home at UMMA


Jaume Plensa, Behind the Walls

About a month agoShang, the giant metal sculpture by Mark di Suvero, was removed from the entrance area of the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA). It was deinstalled after a 12-year run at UMMA because a private collector bought the on-loan sculpture.

But collectors also giveth, not just taketh away, and J. Ira and Nicki Harris have giventh a sculptureth to UMMAeth to replaceeth Shang.

Behind the Walls, a 25-foot-tall sculpture made of polyester resin and marble dust by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa, will now greet visitors at UMMA's entrance. 

The elongated, disembodied head's floating hands are covering its eyes, which Plensa described in the past as a commentary on the way "we can blind ourselves to so much of what's happening around us." In other words, Behind the Walls is encouraging you to take down those hands and absorb the truth about your surroundings, your life, society—you know, the whole kit-and-kaboodle. 

The sculpture is being installed at UMMA this week, so for now you'll have to enjoy photos from Behind the Walls' previous home in Rockefeller Center in New York City.

Jaume Plensa, Behind the Walls

Christopher Porter is a library technician and the editor of Pulp.