Plensa was born in 1955 in Barcelona, where he currently lives and works. He studied at the School of Art and Design and at the Sant Jordi School of Fine Arts.
Since 1980, the year of her first exhibition in Barcelona, he has lived and worked in Berlin, Brussels, England, France, and the United States.
He has taught at the École Nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris and regularly collaborates with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago as a visiting professor. He has also given many lectures and courses at other universities, museums, and cultural institutions around the world.
For the past 30 years, the artist has created sculptures that speak to the capacity and beauty of humanity, often bringing people together through the activation of public spaces. Conventional sculptural materials such as glass, steel, and bronze are mixed with unconventional media such as water, light, and sound to create hybrid works of intricate energy, psychological weight, and symbolic richness.
By frequently incorporating linguistic elements from different alphabets, Plensa's work does not always contain a specific message but instead uses language as a metaphor. In addition to his interest in language, Jaume Plensa finds inspiration in the human figure as a universal symbol. Celebrating the similarities and shared humanity of the world's seemingly divergent cultures, the artist seeks to connect with his viewers on an intuitive level.
Posing numerous dualities, such as interior and exterior, light and dark, and earth and sky, his creations range from intimate and delicate works like Slumberland to monumental public projects, like the iconic Crown Fountain (2000 -2005), a modern agora in the middle of the Chicago cityscape. Plensa unites his diverse practice to evoke inner reflection, silence, and intellectual engagement. It is often the viewer's participation, or the object/viewer relationship, that completes Plensa's work.
Jaume Plensa has received numerous national and international awards, among them the Medaille de Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, awarded by the French Ministry of Culture, in 1993, and the National Prize of Fine Arts of the Generalitat of Catalonia in 1997. In 2005, invested Doctor Honoris Causa by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In Spain, he received the National Prize for Fine Arts in 2012 and the prestigious Velázquez Prize for the Arts in 2013 and was awarded the Honorary Doctorate from the Autonomous University of Barcelona in 2018.
Plensa regularly shows his work in galleries and museums in Europe, the United States, and Asia.