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Colorado & Regional Art

Two Rectangles Up Excentric

Two Rectangles Up Excentric

Year
1987

Artist
George Rickey (1907–2002, American)

Media
stainless steel

Dimensions
25 1/2 x 12 x 4 1/2 inches

George Rickey was born in South Bend, Indiana on June 6, 1907. Moving with his family to Helensburgh, Scotland in 1913, Rickey received his schooling at Trinity College and Balliol College in Oxford, England, receiving both his BA and MA in modern history. While studying in Oxford, Rickey attended night classes at the Ruskin School of Drawing from 1928 to 1929. Rickey returned to the United States to teach in 1930. He began his art career as a painter and exhibited his paintings for the first time during the 1930s; he even had a solo exhibition at the Denver Art Museum in 1935. In 1937, Rickey spent a two year tenure as the first artist-in-residence of a Carnegie grant in Olivet College in Michigan. During World War II, Rickey served in the United States Army Air Corps and was stationed in Denver beginning in 1942. His focus shifted from painting to sculpture in the late 1940s, and he constructed his first mobile in 1945 while stationed in Laredo, Texas. After his service, he studied art history at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University under the GI Bill. When he attended the Institute of Design in Chicago in 1948, an American version of the Bauhaus, he was inspired even more by the art of sculpture. Heavily influenced by Naum Gabo, a guest lecturer at the Institute and one of the original Constructivists, Rickey created mobile sculptures out of abstract metals with an emphasis on movement. Rickey had taught during the war and continued to teach for the remainder of his life, including positions at the University of Washington, Indiana University, Tulane University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Rickey participated in many solo and group exhibitions, focusing on machine-like sculptures contrasting unity/stability and disunity/collapse. Rickey constructed several outdoor public sculptures including pieces in Berlin, London and Osaka, Japan. Rickey passed away on July 17, 2002, at the age of 95, in St. Paul, Minnesota.   

Not currently on view

Signature
unsigned

Credit Line
Collection Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art

Accession Number
1990.0002

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