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Lawrence Argent (1957-2017)

Sculptor and educator Lawrence Argent died on October 4 at the age of sixty. He is best known for his forty-foot blue bear whose two front paws rest on the glass walls of the Colorado Convention Center in Denver as it peers inside. Argent’s other playful site-specific works include a colossal panda, a giant rabbit, and a stainless-steel Venus that is nearly as tall as the Statue of Liberty.

Born in Essex, England, in 1957, and raised in Melbourne, Australia, Argent graduated from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in 1983. In 1986, he graduated with a master’s degree in fine arts from the Rinehart School of Sculpture in Baltimore, after which he continued to live in the United States. He eventually settled in Denver, Colorado, where he taught at the University of Denver for twenty-four years.

To create his large-scale works, Argent often started by using a 3-D printer to produce a model of the sculpture. He then built a steel skeleton, which he covered with polymer concrete, fiberglass, and other materials. According to Harrison Smith at the Washington Post, Argent was at the forefront of digital sculpture; he also sat on the board of the Digital Stone Project, which supports artists who want to incorporate new technology, such as robotic stone cutting, into their practices.

“He really understood how combining traditional and advanced technologies could help create art that was truly moving,” Dan Jacob, the director of the Vicki Myhren Gallery at the University of Denver, said in a statement.