Two Lines Oblique Down, Variation III

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Two Lines Oblique DownArtist - George Rickey
Born - 1907
Died - 2002
Origin - America
Year Built - 1970

About the Artist: Born in Indiana, George Rickey and his family moved to Scotland in 1913. In 1921, Rickey entered Trinity College in Glenalmond, Scotland, where he spent the next five years. He then studied at Baillol College in Oxford for three years but moved to Paris in 1929 where he studied painting at the Academie Andre L'hote and the Academie Moderne. When Rickey returned to the United States in 1930, he began teaching history, but continued to paint in his spare time. The artist enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II; after learning to weld during his service, Rickey began experimenting with mobiles similar to those of Alexander Calder and Naum Gabo. He produced his first mobile in 1945 and devoted much of his energies to sculpture thereafter. He continued his study of sculpture at New York University in 1945 and the Institute of Design in Chicago in 1948. Following the conclusion of his education, Rickey taught first at Indiana University between 1949-55 and then Tulane University between 1955-62. Rickey's experiments in kinetic sculpture, like those of Calder's, depended on fluctuations in air currents as the animating agent. Rickey, too, preferred the geometric, industrial forms of Constructivism. The artist clearly allied himself with the Constructivist movement, publishing Constructivism, Its Origins and Evolution in 1967.

Two Lines Oblique Down, Variation III, 1970, is characteristic of Rickey's geometric language and interest in kineticism. The sculpture is based on the principle of the pendulum, which was first introduced into his sculpture in 1954; in Two Lines Oblique, the normal swinging period of the blades is between 12-18 seconds, unless driven faster by wind. The end result, Rickey hoped, was "to make movement as expressive as color or form." Rickey takes this notion one step further in Two Lines Oblique. The weights and bearings have been adjusted so the blades rest at acute angles. When moving, the path of blades describes two imaginary planes, establishing some sense of form through movement.