Two Lines Oblique Down Variation Two

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George Rickey

American, 1907 - 2002

Two Lines Oblique Down Variation Two, 1969-70

  • On View

Stainless steel

Dimensions: 300 × 540 × 32 in. (762 × 1371.6 × 81.3 cm)

Museum purchase, 1969.46

George Rickey is both an accomplished sculptor and a noted art historian. Although he began his career as a painter, he started making kinetic sculptures in 1951. His classic book Constructivism Origins and Evolutions, originally published in 1967, is still a leading source on the topic. It is not surprising that Rickey would be drawn to Constructivism, which is both an early-twentieth-century movement associated with the work of Russians Naum Gabo and Vladimir Tatlin and an aesthetic of making art. Constructivist ideals calls for a nonobjective art made from geometric forms that are constructed rather than being shaped by expressive means. One of the main goals of the Constructivists, and certainly of Rickey, is to make work that both occupies space and defines it through movement. This work is a classic example of Rickey's sculpture: elegant tapered needles of forged steel are counterbalanced so that they move slowly and rhythmically in a trajectory that responds to the natural currents of the air.

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