Lefrak, Simon announce public art unveiling in Newport

The sculpture “Water’s Soul” is artist Jaume Plensa’s tallest and is visible from lower Manhattan

Rendering courtesy of Richard Gray Gallery
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Rendering courtesy of Richard Gray Gallery

LeFrak and Simon today announced the unveiling of a new permanent, large-scale public artwork located in the Newport development of Jersey City, New Jersey.

The sculpture by Jaume Plensa, titled “Water’s Soul,” is the international artist’s tallest, at 80 feet high, and can be seen opposite the Hudson River from lower Manhattan.

The LeFrak and Simon families together commissioned Jaume Plensa for the artwork on Newport Pier. LeFrak and Simon are the chief developers of Newport.

“Over the course of three decades, Newport has blossomed into a vibrant, diverse community. We are proud to welcome Jaume Plensa’s breathtaking sculpture to this one-of-a-kind neighborhood as we continue to establish Newport within the growing art scene taking shape in Jersey City,” said Richard LeFrak, Chairman and CEO of LeFrak.

“After a generation of incredible work, determination, and investment, this area has been truly transformed from what was once barren land into a vibrant, thriving community,” said David Simon, Chairman, CEO and President of Simon. “This magnificent Jaume Plensa sculpture is a phenomenal representation of the cultural sense of place that Newport embodies.”

The sculpture is Plensa’s second major, permanent installation in the New York metropolitan area, following the 2018 installment of “Voices” at 30 Hudson Yards. A dedication of “Water’s Soul” will be held in the third week of October 2021, after which the landscaped walkway will open for year-round public access.

The pier’s walkway was designed by Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects and connects to Newport’s existing mile-long Hudson River Waterfront Walkway.

“It is my wish for Water’s Soul to become an icon for Newport and a landmark that visually connects it with New York City across the Hudson River,” said Jaume Plensa. “Just as Water’s Soul acts to unite the City of Jersey City and New York City, we are reminded that water is the great public space that unites and embraces communities as well as people around the world.”

Inquiries on attending the dedication in the third week of October 2021 should be sent to LeFrak@stuloeser.com.

About Jaume Plensa

Born in Barcelona where he currently lives and works, Jaume (“Jhao-Meh”) Plensa (b.1955) is one of the world’s foremost sculptors in the public realm with celebrated projects spanning the globe in such cities as New York, Calgary, Chicago, San Diego, Montreal, Los Angeles, London, Dubai, Bangkok, Shanghai, and Tokyo. Over the past 35 years, the artist has produced a multifaceted body of work creating sculptures that speaks to the capacity and beauty of humanity, often bringing people together through the activation of public spaces. In Plensa’s works, conventional sculptural materials like glass, steel, and bronze blend with unconventional media such as water, light, and sound to create hybrid works of intricate energy, psychological weight, and symbolic richness. www.jaumeplensa.com.