The Ascent

2006 – 2008

The Ascent was partially inspired by a line from the poetry of Robert Browning

“A man’s reach should exceed his grasp or what’s a heaven for?”

Dr. Rosen describes the Ascent as a metaphor for life –“through life we experience a series of triumphs over barriers. From childhood we ascend physically, intellectually and spiritually.”

The sculpture, a huge stone work, standing eight feet tall, depicts a man climbing a steep retaining dry rock wall built by Rosen with local boulders forty years ago. The right hand is reaching to the sky while the left hand is grasping upwards.

This work was made possible by super-imposing sagital layers of carved Pennsylvania blue stone around a metal welded armature. The armature was designed to permit segments to be united to each other by a process of telescoping. By so doing, it was possible to segmentalize the construction of this major work of art, working off site, indoors and on site out doors.

The structure is primarily gravity held. Mortar was used from within primarily to prevent water from entering and causing ice damage in the winter and to add some stability.

The Ascent adds a new dimension to the ever increasing growth of the Rosen Laurentian sculpture garden.