Canary II - Robert Maki

About the Art

Commissioned in 1971, Robert Maki created a sculpture for the Central Terminal at Sea-Tac. Due to renovation in 2004, the Central Plaza Sculpture was re-sited outdoors, given a coat of bright canary yellow paint, and retitled Canary II. Due to construction of the International Arrivals Facility (IAF), the sculpture was moved once again to become a signature piece outside the entrance to the Rental Car Facilitly. Blank volumes are communicated through Maki’s Minimalist geometric planes.

The Details


Robert Maki




Sculpture (enameled steel)


15' x 30' x 12' high

Did you know?

When constructing a geometrically balanced sculpture, Maki sometimes creates preliminary cardboard cutouts of the artwork and configures the piece outdoors. This allows for the artist to predict all possible variations of installation and environmental reactions of the piece.

  • <p>© Robert Maki</p>
  • <p>© Robert Maki</p>
  • <p>© Robert Maki</p>
  • <p>© Robert Maki</p>
  • <p>© Robert Maki, archival image</p>
  • <p>© Robert Maki</p>

About the Artist

Examined through his sculpture, Robert Maki's contribution to American art continues to be his interest in the many ways we see. By manipulating our perceptions, he has manifested his own quiet, determined faith in the ability of forms to speak for themselves.

"I think of my artwork as a fragment of something larger. My sculpture involves illusionary structures and situations lending to perceptual ambiguity in both interior and large-scale outdoor concepts." – Maki

Short Bio

In school, Maki studied drafting for four years, followed by engineering drawing. He received his B.A. from Western Washington University in 1962. Before earning his M.F.A. from the University of Washington in 1966, Maki taught mechanical drawing, art, and art history. He has been exhibited in galleries and museums nationwide in Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, France, Japan, and Canada.

Named Alumnus of the Century in Art at WWU, Honorary Lecturer at UW, and Rockefeller Artist-in-Residence at Wake Forest University, he has also received NEA fellowships and numerous private and public commissions.

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Work by Robert Maki

Maki collaborated with landscape architect Robert Hanna to create Westlake Star Axis/Seven Hills, a design to unite the triangular space of Westlake Park. The seven sculptural elements represent the seven hills on which Seattle was built. Click on the link below in Connected Stories to learn more about this collaboration.

Canary II - Robert Maki

Robert Maki's sculpture is an artistic feat in both geometry and scale.