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Council OKs $200,000 for Pond Sculpture : Art: The untitled work of glass and tile for arena's plaza is expected to be completed in September.

April 15, 1994|CATHY CURTIS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

ANAHEIM — The City Council has approved $200,000 for a piece of sculpture on the plaza outside the Pond in Anaheim. The untitled work by Richard Turner of Orange and Ann Preston and Michael Davis, both of Los Angeles, is in the preliminary design stage and is expected to be finished by early September.

The piece is to consist of a 20-foot-high central component--a slender, abstract fiberglass form on a thick glass column--surrounded by a sloping plane of glass or tile mosaic. Lights concealed in the top of the column are to illuminate the sculpture so that it will appear to float.

According to the artists' proposal, the fiberglass form--which will resemble a Rorschach test ink blot in the round--is meant to suggest such images as an athlete in motion and the frozen silhouette of a stream of bubbling water.

Using a bit of perceptual trickery (anamorphosis) known to Renaissance artists, the artists plan to circle the base of the column with distorted mosaic images of Greek athletes that will be properly readable to viewers only as reflections on the shiny surface of the column. An outer ring of tiles will depict "the dance of the sea nymphs." Such classical references are "reminiscent of the antique traditions of the arena and the spectacle of mass entertainment," according to the artists.

Surrounding the sculpture, a band of colored concrete will contain more shapes derived from ink blots as well as granite medallions etched with "perceptual puzzles" in keeping with interactive theme of the piece, which is meant to mirror "the dynamic of the spectator-event relationship."

The artists were selected by the City Council and the Citizen's Art Advisory Committee in September. The piece, to be located on the plaza's southeast corner, will be the second component of the arena's art plan, initiated in June with Nam June Paik's "Video Arch."

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