San Francisco Art@Site George Rickey Annular Eclipse V

George Rickey


Annular Eclipse V

560 Mission Street
Special experience
Two circles are always in contact with each other. You can’t image one circle without the other. Also if only one of them moves, that's makes the moving even more remarkable.
It can happen that the circles are moving slowly but that one of them slows down and stops. This makes me ask why one does but the other doesn’t? Isn’t it strange to wonder such things at all with two abstract objects?
Annular Eclipse V is also able to form special shapes for instance by following their movements and thereby painting a kind of flower pattern in the sky.
Or what do you think when one is on the bottom and the other is in the top position? When this happens I get the happy feeling of joining a special occasion.
George Rickey is able be create an special experience with something as simple as two circles.
By Theo,

Bijzondere ervaring
Twee cirkels zijn continu met elkaar in gesprek. Je kunt je geen cirkel voorstellen zonder de andere. Ook als er slechts één beweegt; dat maakt de beweging des te opvallender.
Het kan gebeuren dat de cirkels langzaam bewegen maar dat één vertraagt en stopt. Dit roept vragen op als: waarom de ene wel maar de andere niet? Dat is toch vreemd dat je dit überhaupt afvraagt bij twee abstracte vormen?
Annular Eclipse V kan ook bijzondere vormen maken door bijvoorbeeld achter elkaar aan te bewegen en daardoor een soort bloemmotief schilderen in de lucht.
Of wat denk je ervan als de ene onderin en de andere bovenin staat? Als dit gebeurt krijg ik het gelukkige gevoel van het deelgenoot zijn van een bijzondere gebeurtenis.
George Rickey kan met zoiets simpels als twee cirkels een bijzondere ervaring creëren.
By Theo,
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.
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.