Three Columns (1989) George Rickey

BKOR archive
About the artwork

Rickey made his first mobile mobiles of metal wire and glass in the early '40. Influenced by the moving sculptures of Naum Gabo, from the 50 he started making stainless steel, wind-bending structures that were built up of rectangular surfaces and linear elements. The simple looking but very gracious Three Columns has become the culmination of this research. The movements of the three columns are related to the movements of the human body, see the link with the Rotterdamse Schouwburg, to which the work was applied in 1989. Rickey took dance as the oldest kinetic tradition and said that his works can be considered choreographies. This is the second work of George Rickey in Rotterdam. In 1986 he was approached by his old friend, art expert and collector Prof. P. Sanders to exchange ideas about the details of the three square steel frames above the entrance to the new building for the Rotterdamse Schouwburg designed by architect Wim Quist. It turned out to be a task that took Rickey about 3 years to solve. During the creation, he wrote: “The columns that I have now made for Rotterdam are the result of earlier, more coarsely designed designs and sometimes frustrating trials. As a finished product they seem simple, and they are, but they have only become so after 3 years of experimenting, making discoveries and making improvements. ” On the occasion of its 150th anniversary, the company Van Ommeren (now VOPAK) donated the artwork to the municipality of Rotterdam. In 1989, the Three Columns placed in the cubes. Fifty years earlier, Van Ommeren donated the Hofplein fountain to the municipality of Rotterdam. On May 19, 2015, one of the three moving sculptures was severely damaged during a storm and the fire brigade spent several hours safely removing a loose part. The entire work of art was therefore completely removed. The damage led to a thorough restoration. After almost five years of absence, the Three Columns reinstalled in the three steel cubes on the facade on 11 and 12 March 2020. For more information: Sculpture International Rotterdam.

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About the artist

George Rickey (South Bend, Indiana USA, 1907 - Saint Paul, Minnesota USA, 2002) was an American sculptor known for his kinetic sculptures. He studied in England and Paris and traveled through Europe. Back in the United States in the XNUMXs, he began to shift his focus from painting to sculpting. He combined his love for technology with cubism and with mobile forms such as van Calder. The metal parts of his images moved with the slightest movement of the wind. He is considered an important representative of neo-constructivism.

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