Monumental sculpture on Park Avenue “in New York – StreetArtNews
The George Rickey Foundation, Inc., and The George Rickey Estate, LLC., are pleased to announce a series of upcoming events celebrating the life and work of groundbreaking sculptor George Rickey. In September, a large public exhibition of his work along the central median of Park Avenue between 52nd and 56th Streets will open alongside a large-scale exhibition of works at the Kasmin Sculpture Garden in Chelsea, and will also coincide with the publication of the artist’s first biography.
The exhibition – “George Rickey: Monumental sculpture on Park Avenue“- will be staged in conjunction with the Fund’s Sculpting Committee for Park Avenue and NYC’s Art in the Parks program, and will perform from August 30 through the end of November 2021. The presentation will feature nine of Rickey’s classics , monumental kinetic sculptures (sculptures capable of movement), some of which have not been exhibited for many years. “An artist who uses movement can behave like a clown, a philosopher, a school teacher or a researcher” Rickey wrote. “If great talent uses movement, great art will move.”
The Park Avenue installation will feature much of Rickey’s diverse and energetic repertoire, the first being completed in 1964 and the last completed in 2002. Break Column II (1989), one of Rickey’s most important and complex works, will tower over Park Avenue at 25 feet high, playfully disrupting the stasis and calm of a classic architectural form, as its discrete components s ‘collapse and reassemble in the wind. On verdant Park Avenue, the show will vividly demonstrate Rickey’s interpretation of the dialogue between the built and the natural worlds.
Six lines in a T (1964-1979) will also be exhibited. Consisting of six handcrafted, reflective stainless steel blades, this meticulously crafted and perfectly balanced masterpiece creates the illusion of organic movement independent of the slightest current of wind. On Park Avenue, Rickey’s explorations of the cyclical movement will also be seen in works such as Space the churn rate with the octagon (1971), a series of concentric shapes that each rotate at different speeds, creating varying patterns, and Untitled circle (2002), the most minimalist piece in the exhibition, a stainless steel ring that asserts quiet power with its effortless movement.
Simultaneously, three Rickey sculptures will be on display at the Kasmin Gallery rooftop sculpture garden in Chelsea, visible from the High Line at 27th Street. All three sculptures date back to the 1960s, including the iconic Rickey Two red lines (1963-1975), one of the first to present what would become the artist’s iconic vertical blades. The blades of this piece, writes Hayden Herrera for Art Forum in 1975, “intersect, open and slow down more and more as they get closer to the horizontal, as if calling for energy for the return trip,” adding that the movements in all Rickey’s works “are complex, random and endlessly intriguing”. This outdoor installation is the Kasmin Gallery’s first exhibition of Rickey’s work since announcing their portrayal of the artist’s estate in November 2020, and will remain on their roof for the duration of the Park Avenue exhibition.
September will also mark the release of the first biography, George Rickey: A Life in Balance by Belinda Rathbone. Published by Godine, the 480-page volume includes a 16-page color insert and presents the artist in the context of his life and times, from his first creative encounters as a child to his varied career as a computer technician from the Army Air Corps to pioneer. university art professor, on his ultimate rise to fame as a sculptor alongside Alexander Calder, David Smith and Christo. The book will be released on September 14, 2021 and is currently available for pre-order.
Georges rickey was one of the most inventive and influential sculptors of the 20th century. Rickey, along with Calder, introduced the notion of kinetic sculpture to America in the mid-twentieth century. Rickey’s kinetic works are an extension of his experiences with wire and metal that began during his service in World War II. By the late 1950s and early 1960s, he had defined his sculptural forms as simple geometric shapes such as rectangles, trapezoids, cubes, and lines. Rickey created a work that specifically revealed the ever-present, yet invisible elements and forces of nature. Rickey expanded the physical vocabulary of sculpture, positioning his work at the intersection of art and nature. In his hands, art and nature are one.
Rickey’s work is in the collection of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, which hosted a retrospective of the artist in 1979, and in those of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, from the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art and the Tate Gallery. His public works remain on display in cities and towns across the United States, and throughout Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
the George Rickey Foundation was founded in 1993 to promote exhibitions and scholarships on the artist’s work. It is responsible for building an archive of materials and technical data for future research projects on the artist and his work, including a catalog raisonné; encourage museum exhibitions and the loan of works belonging to the foundation to important exhibitions; and to encourage independent scholarship on the artist and his contributions to American art history and international modernism.