Have You Seen this Sculpture? VMFA's New Piece Hard to Miss

Apr 14, 2017

Credit Mallory Noe-Payne / WVTF / RADIO IQ

Richmonders in the city’s Fan District may have noticed a new addition to the Virginia Museum of Fine Art’s statue garden. The almost 30-foot tall sculpture is hard to miss: the peaceful face of a young girl, her eyes closed. Mallory Noe-Payne was there when the new piece of work was unveiled, and filed this report.

Her name is Chloe and from far away she looks like a computer-generated illusion -- stark white and flat, a cutout against a backdrop of neon-green trees. But it’s a trick of the eye, and as you get closer and walk around, subtle dimensions come to life.

And when the light hits her just right,  she practically glows.

“The luminescent quality of the marble dust is just off the charts,”  says Alex Nyerges, director of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Nyerges says the piece, done by Spanish sculptor Jaume Plensa, was commissioned for the space more than two years ago.

“And that began a conversation and then a site visit to Barcelona to visit his studios, and then it’s been about a year since he began work on it,” he says. “It then came over from Spain on a ship, because it’s clearly too large for an airplane.”

Now the sculpture has found its home on the VMFA’s lawn. It’s only the second of what the museum hopes will eventually be five large scale works of art in the garden.


The museum will also be hosting Plensa for a public lecture April 27.