George Rickey, ‘U.N. III’, Christie's

George Rickey (1907-2002)


polychromed steel and steel

37 x 16 x 5 in. (93.9 x 40.6 x 12.7 cm.)

Executed in 1955-56. This work is unique.

Signature: U.N. III

New Orleans, Delgado Museum, George Rickey: Kinetic Sculptures and Machines, January 1956, no. 21.

New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, George Rickey, August-October 1979.

M. Davidson III, George Rickey: The Early Works, Atglen, PA, 2004, p. 102 (illustrated).

Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner

About George Rickey

George Rickey is known for abstract kinetic sculptures, inspired by Alexander Calder’s mobiles and the geometric forms of Constructivism. “His work was in step with new sculpture trends toward abstract simplification,” wrote New York Times critic Ken Johnson. Yet, slight variations in air currents could make the sculptures—comprised of lines, planes, rotors, volumes, and churns—oscillate or gyrate, an effect translated especially impressively in his large-scale works. For instance, passing breezes cause the stainless steel bars to pivot 360 degrees around a central post in the enormous Two Lines up Eccentric VI (1977), forming graceful patterns against the sky. Unlike his peer in kinetic sculpture, Jean Tinguely, Rickey never used internal motors or engines to power his sculptures’ movement.

American, 1907-2002, South Bend, Indiana, based in Saint Paul, Minnesota