Echo in the park
Jaume Plensa's Echo, which was installed in Madison Square Park in early May and will be on display through mid-August, is breathtaking. About the piece:
[The sculpture] depicts a nine-year-old girl from Plensa’s Barcelona neighborhood, lost in a state of thoughts and dreams. Standing forty-four feet tall at the center of the park’s expansive Oval Lawn, Echo’s towering stature and white marble-dusted surface harmoniously reflect the historic limestone buildings that surround the park. Both monumental in size and inviting in subject, the peaceful visage of Echo creates a tranquil and introspective atmosphere amid the cacophony of central Manhattan.
Plensa’s sculpture also refers to an episode in Greek mythology in which the loquacious nymph Echo is forced as punishment to repeat only the thoughts of others. Plensa’s Echo plays on the narrative of this Greek myth by depicting a young girl’s face in a state of reverie, translating this sculptural portrait into a physical monument of the internalized voices of the thousands of daily visitors to Madison Square Park.