If you passed the museum’s front lawn this week, you may have noticed a void on the corner near Beretania and Victoria Streets—the concrete platform that, for the last seven years, held George Rickey’s towering Two Rectangles Eccentric (1977) is currently empty. On Monday, the 30-foot-tall brushed stainless steel sculpture was transported to another location to be cleaned and buffed before returning to its original home at the Prince Kūhiō Federal Building on Ala Moana Boulevard.
The two open rectangular forms of the kinetic sculpture have delighted museum visitors and commuters with their delicate metallic dance since August 2011, when the piece was loaned to us by the General Services Administration during a major renovation of the Federal Building. Two Rectangles Eccentric was commissioned for the General Services collection in 1976, through the Art in Architecture Program, and has now been reinstalled at the site of its public debut in 1977.
The vacant space will soon be occupied by a familiar form—John Buck’s The Archer. Donated to the museum by Dawn and Duncan MacNaughton in April, the 15 foot painted bronze sculpture depicts an abstracted male figure whose dislocated head balances sideways between a circular shape, a bow, and a branch, resting atop the torso. “It’s a monumental scale sculpture which will show up nicely on the street when people are driving by or walking by,” says associate curator of contemporary art, Katherine Love. “It’s too large to fit in the galleries, it’s really something to be installed permanently.”
Recognize it? A much smaller maquette of the sculpture—on extended loan to the museum from the Twigg-Smith Foundation—resides at Spalding House, opposite the front desk near the restrooms. “It’s an important piece and it fits in with our previous holdings of Buck’s works,” says Love. The Contemporary Museum held a retrospective of the artist’s work in 1995.
A date has not yet been set for installation of The Archer, but if you miss seeing the silver glint of Two Rectangles Eccentric swaying in the sunlight, head over to Spalding House and pay a visit to the sculpture’s smaller siblings—Rickey’s Two Open Triangles Up Gyratory (1982) and Breaking Column (1988)—both on view in the gardens.