Jaume Plensa, Sho, 2007

Large, white steel mesh in shape of girl's head

Jaume Plensa

(Barcelona, Spain, 1955– )



Painted stainless steel

157 1/2 x 157 1/2 x 118 1/8 in. (400.1 x 400.1 x 300 cm)

Meadows Museum, SMU, Dallas. Museum purchase with funds from The Pollock Foundation, the family of Mr. and Mrs. Richard R. Pollock, and the family of Lawrence S. Pollock, III, in honor of Mrs. Shirley Pollock; MM.09.01

Listen to Meadows Museum Docent Betsy Morton discuss this work (2:17 minutes)

Audio Transcript

Jaume Plensa (1955– )

Sho, 2007

by Betsy Morton, Meadows Museum docent

We’re looking at Sho by Jaume Plensa. The artist is a contemporary sculptor who was born and continues to live and work in Barcelona, Spain. He creates very large-scale, three-dimensional sculptures, frequently using the human figure as his inspiration. He often incorporates film, light, letters, and unusual materials to present familiar objects. Like Sho, many of his works are in exterior settings, but several sculptures are made to be shown inside. 

Sho, made in 2007, was first exhibited in Valencia, Spain, and later shown in Chicago and Grand Rapids, Michigan. It was placed at the Meadows Museum in 2009 as a centerpiece of the recently updated sculpture plaza.  

Sho is a large-scale female head. It stands 13 feet tall and 10 feet wide. It weighs 660 pounds. Sho is made of painted openwork stainless steel mesh. The artist uses 360-degree digital modeling, then creates a foam model, before he finished the work by hand for a web effect that is virtual rather than solid. 

Sho is the name of a young Chinese girl who lived near the artist’s studio in Barcelona. It is a portrait rendered in profile, using the curves of the girl’s face and braided hair to shape her identity. Her closed eyes suggest a dreamlike, futuristic appearance. The artist set his sculpture on a lighted base that lends an ethereal quality after dark. 

Sho joined the Wave, by [Santiago] Calatrava, on the sculpture plaza as examples of sculptures by living Spanish artists. The artist’s sculptures may be seen in many cities including St. Louis, Missouri; Buffalo, New York; Chicago, Illinois; Seattle, Washington; Nice, France; and London, England; as well as at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas.