Silver Adagio


(b. 1955, Spain)

Silver Adagio, 2020

Stainless steel

Planet Word, on loan from the collection of Ann and Tom Friedman

The figure seated here is made up of stainless steel symbols from nine different writing systems: Latin, Greek, Cyrillic, Hebrew, Arabic, Hindi, Tamil, Chinese, and Japanese. What symbols can you identify? Do you speak any of the languages that use these letters?

Plensa’s sculptures often focus on what it means to be human, particularly in an increasingly globalized world. The meditative pose of the figure reminds us that we are not merely bodies, but spirits — spirits that use language to express themselves and connect with others.

For more information about Jaume Plensa, please visit

Photo of Silver Adagio by Rob Edwards