Art@Site George Rickey Variation VII Bochum

George Rickey


Variation VII

An artwork by Rickey cannot stop. I see a picture of Variation VII and yet I see it moving. You know that the works of George Rickey will start to move sooner or later.
You don't know what they will do. Will they move to the front or to the side? Will they move together or separately? Or will they wait a couple of minutes? It’s alright with me; I can wait for a while.
The two pieces do not need anything, except for the wind. They are always open to change and are in movement together. In my opinion, the works of George Rickey are downright optimistic. And this is shown clearly.
It is remarkable that the message of the artworks by George Rickey is clear on every location; this is 100% optimism. And they are aesthetically pleasing on each place while only simple polished rectangles are used. The works by George Rickey are sincere and believable. How does he do that?
By Theo,

Een kunstwerk van Rickey kan niet stil staan. Ik zie een foto van Variation VII en toch zie ik het bewegen. Bij de werken van George Rickey weet je dat het vroeg of laat in beweging komt.
Je weet niet wat zij gaan doen. Gaan ze naar voren of opzij? Gaan ze tezamen of alleen? Of wachten ze even? Ik vind alles goed; ik wacht wel even.
De twee rechthoeken hebben niets nodig, behalve de wind. Zij staan continu open voor verandering en zijn tezamen in beweging. Volgens mij zijn de kunstwerken van George Rickey ronduit optimistisch. En zij laten dit ook duidelijk zien.
Het is bijzonder dat de boodschap van de kunstwerken van George Rickey op elke locatie overkomt; het straalt 100% optimisme uit. En ook op iedere plek esthetisch is, terwijl het eenvoudige gepolijste rechthoeken zijn. De werken van George Rickey zijn volledig oprecht en geloofwaardig. Hoe doet hij dat toch?
Door Theo,
George Rickey, Variation VII, 1977.
Two Open Rectangles Excentric Triangular Section, Kinetische Plastik, Edelstahl, 640 x 120 cm.
Standort: Forumsplatz, Kunstsammlungen der Ruhr-Universität Bochum
As one of the world’s foremost kinetic sculptors, sharing much in common with Calder and Tinguely, Rickey emerges as a unique and powerful presence in his own right by focusing on"movement as means." Less interested in the form of his sculptures than in the patterns of their movement, he also eschews motorized mechanization. His theoretical writings regarding kinetic sculpture combine a unique sensitivity to the forces that define the world with an especially well-developed talent for analytical insight.
During World War II, Rickey was drafted into the Army Air Corps."It was an event that dramatically altered the course of my life, " he recalls. In the Army, Rickey discovered his latent technical prowess while maintaining computing instruments for gun-control turrets in B-29 bombers. Besides mechanical skill, this task required an understanding of the effects of wind and gravity in ballistics, skills that he would rely upon as he switched from painting to kinetic sculpture. Following his discharge from the Army, Rickey pursued additional training in art history at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University and later the Institute of Design in Chicago.
Articulation of motion fascinates and compels Rickey, a motion that is akin to the functioning of nature, yet apart from it. This motion is not motor-driven but relies instead on gravity and principles of physics: equilibrium and momentum. His exquisitely engineered steel sculpture—straight-edged, geometric, and regular—responds to wind and the pull of gravity through counterweights and bearings. Rickey often employs the compound pendulum to control and lengthen the movement of his geometric forms. Rickey weights the tapering arms of his sculptures internally with lead, so that he positions the point of balance where he chooses, thereby controlling the momentum. The movement is slow, smooth, and unpredictable, evoking a mesmerizing quality of repetition and variation that captivates the viewer; like ocean waves, Rickey’s work responds to the same natural laws of motion and captivates the viewer with the same mesmerizing quality of repetition and variation.
George Warren Rickey (June 6, 1907 – July 17, 2002) was an American kinetic sculptor.
his first sculpture was shown in New York in 1951 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art group show American Sculpture 1951. The Museum of Modern Art, in New York purchased his seminal Two Lines Temporal I, after Alfred Barr, MOMA's then Director, had seen it at the exhibition Documenta III in Kassel, Germany.
In 1985, George Rickey had a major retrospective in South Bend, Indiana, the place of his birth. His sculptures were installed outside (and inside) of the South Bend Art Center, and also at the Snite Museum of Art on the campus of the University of Notre Dame. Rickey gave a presentation of his work at the Snite. One of the stories he told concerned how, as a result of a World War II-era, government-administered aptitude test, he was assigned to design machine gun turrets for bombers. It was in this job that he became familiar with the high-quality ball bearings, balancing weights, riveted sheet metal, lightweight aircraft construction techniques, and modern hardware (and the vendors for same) that were to become the mechanical foundation for his later forays into lightweight, delicately balanced, wind-activated kinetic sculpture.