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The sheer size of these serene figures strikes viewers before the more subtle aspects of the angel's symbolic charge can be understood. At approximately forty-eight feet tall the angels are several times larger than life. Like the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the Empire State Building in New York, Martn Vr's angels have quickly become symbols of Fort Worth as valid and commanding as the city's "cowtown" heritage. The angels are located on a city street, towering over the life beneath them. The decision to incorporate the building and the angels into the heart of the city, rather than set them apart by surrounding them with open space, was a deliberate and effective one. The size and scale of the angels in this urban corridor heightens the psychological quality of the site and forces viewers to concentrate on the building and its sculpture.
If it is well placed, public sculpture of imposing scale intensifies its site. For instance, Michaelangelo's placement of the free-standing equestrian portrait of Marcus Aurelius in the center of Campidolio in Rome and Jean-Bapiste Carpeaux's Dance relief on the facade of the Paris Opera House illustrate how sculpture and architecture can work together to define the aesthetic character of a site. The sculpture's placement, visibility and size intensify the site. Fourth Street in Fort Worth is strongly energized and lifted above its urban setting by the hovering presence of the angels.
By contrast a sculpture of a figure on a pedestal is an independent work of art, and its surroundings are of little importance. The pedestal frames it, and the "frame" sets it aside from the ordinary world. Sculpture of this type might be placed outdoors but seldom bonds with the various other elements in the setting to become an effective public work because the "frame" of its pedestal works to separate it from anything and everything external to it. Although they are in a public location, such works remain essentially private. In addition to being impressive works of art, Martn Vr's angels bond with the architecture and the surrounding urban environment to create a complete aesthetic situation, the hallmark of successful public sculpture.
The angels intensify the scene around them by their presence. To fully experience the angels one must look beyond the walls that they spring from to the full three-dimensional context of the streetscape around them. The solid forms of the buildings around the angels and the spaces between these buildings result in varying impressions when the angels are viewed from different places in the street. The narrowness of the street in front of the angels compels viewers to see the angels from below and to always be closer to one. Thus, one angel always feels larger while the other is more remote and seems smaller. The sisters look exactly alike only from one vantage point directly across the street at the center of the Hall.
The angels' monumental scale and high visibility unite with the significant visual elements of Fourth Street to intensify this urban corridor and to concentrate viewers' attention on the building and its sculpture. Mrton Vr 's limestone angels clearly are effective public sculpture. Their intimate relationship to the Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Performing Arts Hall distinguishes them in the tradition of public sculpture.
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