George Warren Rickey produced kinetic sculptures that were created with the precision of an engineer. During World War II Rickey learned how to design machine gun turrets for bombers. This task familiarized him with ball bearings, weights, sheet metal, and other construction techniques. With this knowledge Rickey learned how to forge the framework for his sculptures that would be lightweight, meticulously balanced, and wind-activated.
Many of these works were inspired by the solid cubic sculptures of David Smith which still retained their gracefulness in spite of their sheer monolithic size and by the mobiles of Alexander Calder with their harmonious movements. Many of his sculptures could potentially weigh several tons, yet still be moved by the slightest gust of wind. Rickey’s appeal is international in scope as evidenced by his list of worldwide exhibitions and his representations in global and distinguished museums as well as public institutions.
Rickey combined his love of engineering and mechanics to devise such sculptures as Two Trapezoids Eccentric, One Up, One Down, 1978, a nice size example of Rickey’s mature style of kinetic art. He has reduced his forms to two minimal elongated and open geometric traezoids that move without any motorized parts. The medium is solely stainless steel. All color has been eliminated. This sculpture is in the final analysis a study of opposites – the forms that comprise it are simple and precise, while the movement is random and generated by the fickleness of the wind.
Walter & Dawn Clark Netsch Collection, Chicago, IL
Living with Art, Two: The Collection of Walter and Dawn Clark Netsch, 10 September-16 December 1983, Miami University Art Museum, Oxford, OH; 22 January-25 March 1984, The Snite Museum of Art, University of Notre Dame, IN
Living with Art, Two: The Collection of Walter and Dawn Clark Netsch, Miami University Art Museum, p. 86