South Bend 1907 -
Santa Barbera 2002
George Rickey was born in South Bend, Indiana on June 6, 1907. From 1926 to 1929 Rickey studied in Oxford, but then transfered to Paris, where he continued his studies until 1930. Inspired by Alexander Calder's oeuvre, he produced his first mobiles in 1945.
In his works George Rickey further developed and perfected the idea of movement and natural time. All his mobiles and kinetic sculptures perform their movements without any auxiliary engine, like those of Jean Tinguely. Rickey used the laws of nature, wind power and gravity for his artwork.
Numerous prizes and awards followed after his stay in Berlin, supported by a DAAD scholarship, in 1968 and 1969, in 1987 George Rickey became a member of the Berlin academy of arts.
During the 1990s George Rickey produced numerous mobiles from stainless steel elements as hanging or standing objects. For these, he transfered the principle of the pendulum to the surrounding space. George Rickey's works are mostly simple constructions ("Zwei Linien hinein" or "Sechs horizontale Linien"), which were implemented with scientific precision. Even the 60 cm mobile sculpture "One up, one down oblique", created in 1975, worked according to these principles.
Alongside these small mobiles, Rickey also designed numerous free-standing sculptures, most of which were directly connected to the building, and thus realized the idea of "Kunst am Bau" (art in construction). Important examples are a 5 meter tall piece consisting of asymmetrically attached, metal arms, tapering like needles on the premises of the Fachhochschule Fulda, and the kinetic sculpture at the broadcasting center of the Hessischer Rundfunk in Frankfurt am Main. It consists of three stainless steel bars, which seem to be floating weightlessly. They are set in motion by the wind and perform ever new patterns.
George Rickey died on July 17, 2002.