Artist Lecture 2 – Lawrence Argent – Lane Mitchell

Lane Mitchell

ARTH 3539

Artist Lecture 2

Born in England and raised in Australia, Lawrence Argent brought his massive public art to America and more specifically Colorado, often making us, the viewer, consider the location in which the art is placed. “Through my placing them, they take on a new meaning”, he says.

Argent’s best piece that exemplifies this idea is the famous big blue bear outside the Denver Convention Center entitled “I See What You Mean”. Hanging out outside of the convention center, the bear plays with the architecture of the building. Constantly peeking in, wondering what is going on inside, the bear forces you to be aware of where you are. This piece comments on mans strive to conquer nature. Argent asked, “What is Colorado?” Is it an open frontier waiting for us to explore or are we only visitors in this vast nature? What I like most about “I See What You Mean” is its countless interpretations. The bear’s curiosity differs, depending on each individual viewers curiosity.

Another piece by Argent that forces you to be aware of where you are is the public piece entitled “Whispers” on the University of Denver’s campus. This piece includes a limestone bench carved to look like lips. As you sit into the lips you begin to hear different educational lectures. This once again, forces you to be aware of the setting you are in, which in this case is a place of knowledge and education.

Not only do Argent’s pieces often force the viewer to be aware of where they are but many of his pieces also focus on history of the piece itself and they placement of the piece. Argent’s piece entitled “Waiting” consists of a wooden chair and projected onto it are the fannies of all of the people of have sat in the chair. This projection forces the viewer to think about and consider the history that the chair, a mundane ordinary object, has been through.

I enjoyed Lawrence Argent’s work and hearing him speak about it even more so. I liked being able to hear the background and thought process behind the pieces from the artist himself, giving me a little peek inside his mind, just like the bear peeks in at us.

One Response

  1. I found his “Waiting” work to be very funny and interesting.. As people we are always surrounded with places to sit in public areas. I sometimes think about who has sat there and what has touched the seat but I’ve gotten to a point, after numerous classes in college, where I don’t think about what could’ve touched the seat I’m about to sit in. I thought it interesting that he presented this thought that we most all have multiple times as an art work. It is a funny piece that could also gross the viewer out and make them not want to sit in public seats anymore.

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