Thinker on a Rock

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Artist
Lifespan
1941-2009
Nationality
Information
Art Type
Media / Materials
Status
Year Completed
1997
Credit
Promised gift of John and Mary Pappajohn to the Des Moines Art Center
Location
Latitude & Longitude
41.585483, -93.634867
Location Description
North central edge of Pappajohn Sculpture Park along Grand Avenue

In “Thinker on a Rock” the artist substitutes his signature hare for Rodin’s Thinker (1880), making a witty and irreverent reference to one of the world’s best-known sculptures. Other Barry Flanagan statues of “Thinker on a Rock” are located in Utrecht, Netherlands and in Washington, D.C. in the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden.


The hare, Flanagan said, "is rich and expressive," carrying with it "the conventions of the cartoon and the investment of human attributes into the animal world", both of which are "very well practiced devices in literature and film... If you consider what conveys situation and meaning and feeling in a human figure, the range of expression is, in fact, far more limited than the device of investing an animal – a hare especially – with the expressive attributes of a human being. The ears, for instance, are really able to convey far more than a squint in an eye of a figure or a grimace on the face of a model.” Barry Flanagan

Barry Flanagan

Find other public artwork: Pappajohn Sculpture Park

Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation

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