The movement of this smaller of the two Rickey sculptures seems skittish, random and chaotic; constantly teetering; though in very high winds it mimics nature and acting like a palm tree lies flat against the wind.
This chance element in the work’s composition is reminiscent of the Dada movement’s experiments with spontaneity and the irrational, and especially of Arp’s collages made by scattering torn rectangular pieces of paper onto a paper support.
George Rickey was born in South Bend, Indiana on June 6, 1907 and died on July 17, 2002. First studying at Balliol College in Oxford and then in Paris during the 1920s, Rickey was inspired by Alexander Calder's oeuvre; and following his discharge from the Army in the 1940s studied at New York University Institute of Fine Arts and the
Chicago Institute of Design. His life work included numerous solo exhibitions and public art commissions in America, Europe and Japan. All his mobiles and kinetic sculptures perform their movements without any motor power, using instead the laws of nature, wind power and gravity. The artist’s honours included a DAAD scholarship in
1968-69 for a residency in Berlin; in 1987 he was awarded membership to the Akademie der Künste in Berlin; and in 1999 he received a Lifetime Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award from the International Sculpture Center in America.