Saqqara is a vast, ancient burial ground in Egypt which features the world’s oldest step pyramid. Artist Victor Tolgesy used this idea to name his large scale sculpture found on Queen’s campus. The work was commissioned in 1971 by the Department of Mathematics and was originally placed in the sunken courtyard on the east side of the building.
Tolgesy, who was born in Hungary and emigrated to Canada in 1951, chose to make the work in the form of a pyramid to avoid any potential distortion of perspective when viewed from the building above. Sakkarah illustrates the intersection of the sphere and the pyramid and does so with a lyrical visual flow. The steel work, commonly referred to by students as “the big orange triangle” can now be found on the plaza west of Jeffery Hall, kiddie corner to Harrison-LeCaine and Mac-Corry. I have yet to see it from above myself but will certainly have a look when I one day check to see if Harrison-LeCaine really does look like a piano from above.