Art@Site Cliff Garten Sentient Beings

Cliff Garten


Sentient Beings

Lankershim Boulevard
The Sentient Beings are a playful collection of stainless steel forms placed at the entry to the Art Institute of California, Hollywood located along Lankershim Blvd. in the emerging arts district of North Hollywood. Each sculpture is constructed of forty-eight formed stainless rods and lit with two programmable energy efficient LED colored lights. Sized between fourteen and eighteen feet tall, the curves of the pieces relate to the human body. The grouping of columns compliments the glass and concrete exterior of the building developed by JH Snyder Company with architectural design by Jerde Partnership. Reaching the height of the first floor of the building, the sculptures can be easily viewed by both pedestrians and vehicular traffic. Using a lithocrete pad with reflective aggregates, like a pedestal, these forms encourage passersby to touch the columns and interact with the placement in the fifteen-foot diameter base. In daylight, the stainless steel surfaces play with reflection and refraction of natural light. At night the color changing lights bring the sculptures to life, creating a dynamic experience depending on light levels and proximity to the pieces. With the ability to be programmed to highlight special events and holidays the grouping of sculptures will maintain relevance throughout the year.
"Sentient Beings" is a group of eight stainless steel sculptures based on figuration, volume and the interaction of these volumes with light and urban activity. They are opaque and transparent, allowing the street environment and activities to move through them. The curves of the sculptures allude to the physical body, but are two to three times the height of the average person. The register of the body is obvious through the correlation of their scale to the pedestrian, as well as the figurative nature of the sculpture. The dynamic of the sculptures comes through the interaction of the eight sculptures together. As one moves past them on the street, in the car or entering the building, their forms interact and appear to merge into and out of one another. As the viewer changes perspective, the sculptures merge and separate creating arrangements of new forms.
Cliff Garten is an internationally recognized sculptor whose practice integrates architecture, landscape and engineering as a means of positioning his sculpture in the public realm. His studio pursues public infrastructure as something that can perform in engaging and expressive ways, providing for basic needs as well as elevating itself to the status of sculpture. Garten received his Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design and his Master of Landscape Architecture with distinction from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
Garten is the recipient of two Individual Artist Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bush Foundation Fellowship for Individual Artists, the Bush Foundation Leadership Fellowship and the Jerome Foundation Travelling Artist Grant. Americans for the Arts Public Art Network has consistently selected his public sculpture as best in the nation. The American Society of Landscape Architects has cited many of his works for design excellence. He has served as a visiting critic at the Harvard Graduate School of Design; University of California, Los Angeles School of Architecture; Otis Art Institute and the Southern California Institute of Architecture. Garten lives and works in Los Angeles, where he continues his studio.