Los Angeles

George Rickey

David Stuart Galleries

Rickey’s kinetic sculptures are additive linear or planal devices which trace wind-driven movements in space. “Driven,” though, is too forceful a term to describe the caressing energy to which these ingratiating blades and vanes respond. Most, light in gauge and tenderly balanced, achieve a delicate elegance. The faint tendency toward fragile superficiality is confirmed in the full-blown jeweler’s preciosity of four “Fleurs de rocaille.” Clusters of tiny paddle wheels are weighted down by glittering crystals, and only here Rickey became the victim of his good taste.

Going beyond Calder’s primitive chain link, his joints or fulcrums are sharpened pins in sockets and tiny knife-blade hooks. These are the fully exploited technical means which have permitted the subtle and complex motions of fluttering, rising and falling, rocking, wide side to side arcing, and full turning.

There is an equal division between referential and abstract pieces. Red Vine, Tree, Nuages Ill, and Bouquet appear as shimmering aerial indicators in perennial slow motion. Space Churn, the hypnotic Atropos III, and the five large Peristyles require the purity of architectural isolation where they may command individual fascination and reflection.

If there is to be the unfair, though inevitable, comparison to Calder, it is that the master is the robust archaic, while Rickey the approaching classical phase of kinetic works.

Fidel A. Danieli