News and notes from Reston (tm).

Monday, December 12, 2011

Flashback Monday: Sculpture 'N' Scholarly Analysis


The only thing more fun than clambering all over Reston's brutalist statuary is engaging in scholarly discussion of its import, complete with hip '70s disregard for uppercase letters. And right off the bat, we see that things haven't changed all that much in the last three-odd decades:


The rest of the article uses lots of big words to pay homage to Lake Anne's concrete statuary, including Rossant's Pulpit and Lookout, the tall watchtowery structures on both sides of the harbor we always assumed were used by the DRB to spot floating affronts to the color palette. Lay it on us, 70s Sculpture Critic:


What they said. We'll get back to you once we pry our thesaurus out from under a leg of the kitchen table.

Of the fountain in Lake Anne Plaza, the article says it is "looked at with and without puzzlement, much like an open fire hydrant on a New York street." (Except that kids are allowed to play in open fire hydrants.) And it engages in a bit of anachronistic snark: "Less memorable are the kitcsh walls of the Plaza's pharmacy." Oh, no they didn't!

Then there's a bunch of architectury stuff about the statuary in the underpass on North Shore Road:


More intriguing are references to pieces that no longer exist, such as a wooden horse (called "Wooden Horse") and "The Building," which was made of wood and apparently a popular place to play:

The Building.jpg

Did a lawsuit or wood rot fell The Building? We may never know.

This fancy aerial shot shows an "experimental model" called the Tower that once stood next to the Sun Boat:

Tower and sunboat.jpg

What Does It All Mean? Fortunately, we skipped to the end:


We'll be damned, but that almost makes sense.


  1. "...without tantalizing pretense...?" Modern "Art" is nothing but pretentious, souless junk passed off by people lacking talent. The concrete "sculpture" kind looks like Soviet apartment blocks.

    1. Let's see what works of art you can produce....sweetie!

  2. Bronze Bob Square PantsDecember 12, 2011 at 1:59 PM

    No need to insult Soviet-era apartment blocks, South Lakes Diva.

    Sent from Lake Anne on my Earth-Toned Blackberry.

  3. Along the lines of our other sister city named Restongrad, we could call this style of art work "Reston Realism". How fitting would that be, since it seems to diverge fully from anything "Real".

    I can only say that, if I tried to plant this same dreck statuary in my front yard, RA would probably put my head on a pike right along side it. So much for the love of Art in Reston...

  4. I don't know, I always liked the fact you could climb all over the statues! The one good thing about all that poured concrete is that they were practically indestructible.

  5. Aaah, and the chance that we may crack our heads open if we fall off the pyramid.

  6. I particularly enjoy the smell of urine-soaked concrete of the art piece across from the community center entrance.

  7. My kids played, now my grandkids play in that fountain. If naught else, unfiltered, unchlorinated water gives their immune systems a workout.


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