Lawrence Argent-Lecture Review by Ryan Baker


Ryan Baker

Arth 3539

Lawrence Argent

            Lawrence Argent, a well-known sculpture artist spoke at the Denver Art Museum on Wednesday, April 18.  This was a very compelling lecture and I was excited to find out that I am actually familiar with some of his works.  Argent is from England, getting his undergraduate degree in sculpture from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, and his MFA from the Rinehart School of Sculpture at the Maryland Institute College of Art.  Argent is a very famous sculpture artist known for his incredible sculptures all around Colorado.  I wasn’t really aware of him until he showed slides of his work like the big blue bear, that I was familiar with.  He has a very unique and unmistakable way of working and designing his pieces.  I was very intrigued to learn about the intricate processes that go into making one of his sculptures.  He shows great pride and passion when he talked about his work, and really went through all the details it takes to create his sculptures. Continue reading

CUAM- Keeping it Real-Exhibition Paper Ryan Baker


Ryan Baker

Arth  3539

CUAM- Keeping it Real

Personally, there is nothing more fulfilling and life changing than going to a museum and taking in the beauty and passion of the artworks.  I have always gained a certain ardor towards museums and their collections and have had the opportunity to experience many different exhibits all over the world.  I found that I couldn’t just choose one exhibit so I visited the Denver Art Museum and MCA Denver, but most recently saw the exhibit at the CU Art Museum.  Something about the different mediums and ideas portrayed by the Korean artists really intrigued me and made me continuously rethink and discover new things about the pieces.  The exhibition was, Keeping it Real, Korean Artists in the Age of Multi-Media Representation.  I spent a fair amount of time breaking down and just absorbing most of these pieces and seeing what they would reveal to me.  The artists that really caught my eye were Yong-ho Ji, Yeondoo Jung, and Kiwoun Shin.  I strongly feel they expressed such great ideas and concepts on materialization and industrialization, and how our culture is getting caught up in this hub of multi-media and consumption. Continue reading

Visiting Artist Paper: Arlene Sechet- February 7= by Ryan Baker


Ryan Baker

Visiting Artist Paper: Arlene Sechet– February 7

Arlene Sechet is an artist who works with a variety of materials including ceramics, paint plaster, and a variety of strange and different materials.  During the lecture I felt that she was very open and wasn’t afraid to show us her vulnerable spots, which helped me really understand her work and why she created a piece. I was flabbergasted at her ability to take these deep and emotional feelings and experiences, and turn them into these beautiful works of art that perfectly epitomized her feelings.  By listening to her speak about her work, it was easy to grasp her personality and state of mind.

The first project of hers that she shared was one she began in 1992 when she found herself making statues that resemble the Buddha.  She was playing with plaster and found her finished piece to resemble a Buddha.   She aw these icons as reminders to behave the way she wants to behave.  She started studying Buddhism and realized that this is how she should lead her life in this calm and collected state.  She was working with the idea of life and death, and how they are so related and so delicate.  She made the Buddha shapes the painting on paint skins and embedding them in plaster, and would continue using the same mold, letting plaster on her fingers make marks on the paint skins allowing anything to happen.  What helped inspire these pieces was her ideas of life and death because during this time was the birth of her children and the premature death of a few of her very close friends.  She was putting these feelings into her inspiration from the Buddhism practices, and after the Buddha’s, which I thought were my favorite of her works, she moved to creating her own manifestations of Stupas.  Each work that she did was very personalized, and she took a risky move of recreating a religious figure, but all her own personal and intimate feeling and ideas into them that they turned out so influential and beautiful.

Stupas are architectural manifestations of Buddhist temples, where it is believed that one can achieve enlightenment by walking around it.  She started creating blueprints of stupas made from mandala plans.   She studied images of stupas and visited them to really grasp their spiritual meaning and the beauty of the object.  She made blueprints of them using a paint color called “flow blue”, which is very iconic in Chinese cultures.  She would paint them on hand made paper pulp that she would spread to make a canvas to paint on.  She received a grant from a paper mill that provided her with pulp and she used it with the paint so that it would blend together.  She started evolving using this method, flooding the pieces so that the images began to dissolve into a liquid state that signified that all things are changing all the time.  This reminded her of blue and white Japanese porcelain, which took her into her next project. In this, she created paper plans around a plaster mold creating these vessels, which still represented stupas containers similar to vases, which in her own theory were domestic versions of sacred architecture.  These were beautiful vessels which she created hundreds of them, reusing the mold and paint skins, which gave each of them a different and unique tone and look.

Of all of the works that she showed us, my favorite one she did came out of her interest in working with glass, which she started to use a lot in her artworks.  The one I loved was an installation she did for a museum that was once and old retirement home for sailors.  She wanted to create something that represented that past history of the installation space and very intrigued by rope and they ways it can be conformed and displayed.  Using her newfound love for glass,  she wanted to reference rope, casting it like a river weaving throughout the installation space.  She created these beautiful crystal ropes, which had an amazing fading soft blue hue to it.  The rope weaved through the walls, tying into knots, flowing like a soft and majestic river.  Something about these soft blue crystal ropes intertwining through white walls, mesmerized me and even by looking at the pictures, allowed my mind to transform the room and imagine thee sailors that used to be there.

By the end of the lecture, I felt that I had a newfound grasp about how my feelings and experiences can be transformed into my artwork, using so much more materials than I would think of.  She taught me that I could create with my mind and emotions, and not to worry about being neat or if I mess up because in her mind there are no mistakes in her art, just improvements.

Performance art & Joseph Beuys, Extra Credit

Joseph Beuys performance piece, I like America and America Likes Me,is something that i actually understand as a performance art piece.  I really can grasp his idea in being from a different country and coming to America for the first time, and capturing that experience in performance art.  I understand performance art as being a way to express yourself through different ways and and to take the meaning of art to a whole new level.  Continue reading

Clyfford Still paper by Ryan Baker

Clyfford Still paper by ryan baker

Ryan Baker

ARTH 3539

Clyfford Still

“My painting is a life statement, not an autobiography.”  This passage resonated within me as I sat in the museum reading these profound quotes by Clyfford Still.  I have spent a lot of my life traveling to many different countries and cities where art has been greatly influenced.  Through these travels I have visited many different museums and witnessed works from some of the greatest artist in the world.  Never have I been impacted so much from looking at a painting than from the works of Clyfford Still. Continue reading

Ryan Baker Intellectual Profile

1. My name is Ryan Baker, and i am majoring in Studio Art with an Emphasis on photography and am minoring in EBio.  I am currently applying to the News-Editorial Journalism program, and i want to become a photo-journalist.  My passion is photography and using to capture a moment in time portraying a persons life story.  I love engaging in conversation with different types of people., asking them about life and finding out what they do and what they have done, and taking a photo of them to capture their story.  I have always loved photography and am always pursuing my passion to capture life and everything it offers.

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Ryan Baker, Smith Paragraph

When Terry Smith talks about “What is Contemporary Art,” he is expressing how art today is relating and reaching out to cultures all over the world.  Contemporary art is forming to our culture and the popular techniques that we exhibit.  It allows artists to express themselves in there own way in our culture.  Our culture plays into the fact of what contemporary art really is.  Smith talks about how contemporary art is brought about through deep expression and knowledge of art history.  It isn’t just a random act of “art,” but is a meditated process taking in past forms of art.  It allows the artist to express themselves at a very unique level.

Contemporary art is made to aesthetically challenge and also please the viewer.  He talks about how contemporary art follows the line of the present and what is happening in our culture and world.  The present is always diminishing fast so contemporary art hangs onto the present as long as it can while new ideas and art comes in.  Its is the ongoing interpretation of the present and the artist is responsible for relying on the present to produce the artwork.

I really enjoyed the what smith had to say, but i still find it hard to grasp completely the meaning of contemporary art.  I do understand it but to do that i really had to think about the differences between contemporary art and “modern art.”  He was very thorough in explaining the differences, and i found that the way he wrote about contemporary art gave me a new outlook about art in general.  He talked about the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao, Spain, which i have actually been to and witnessed, and i could understand when he talked about its enormous and insane curves relating to contemporary art.  His explanation and thoughts on contemporary art and very well thought and deep, which represent the art itself.