“I did not want merely to set a static art in motion, nor did I want to describe the dynamic world around me with a series of moving images. I wanted the whole range of movements themselves performing in a world of their own” – George Rickey
Axel Vervoordt Gallery presents a solo exhibition by American artist George Rickey (South Bend, Ind, 1907 – Saint Paul, Minn, 2002) created in collaboration with the George Rickey Estate and George Rickey Foundation. It’s the artist’s debut exhibition with the gallery and includes a selection of Rickey’s precisely calibrated kinetic sculptures, which he referred to as “useless machines”.
Featuring one outdoor sculpture from 1966 and seven works installed in the Terrace Gallery, the sculptures are activated by the invisible power of the air, an often unpredictable yet astonishing natural force. Just like the wind animates the landscape, the hand of the artist is revealed when the sculptures are set in motion, revealing the beauty of light, form, and composition. The sculptures invite viewers to pause, as their awareness increases of the objects in (suspended) motion, a heightened sensibility that alerts the eye to focus on time, tension, and the work’s true nature. “I think it’s important to make art that you have to wait for,” Rickey said.
Three notions are key to Rickey’s oeuvre, which he built during a five-decade career. Although always fascinated by art, he only started making sculptures in his forties. Secondly, he played an essential role in the artistic eco-system with his work as a teacher, critic, and curator. Lastly, that considerable network consisted of artists associated with ZERO and Nul, which is only an indication of the importance of his activities and interventions in Europe, and more specifically North Rhine-Westphalia.
Courtesy of the artist and Axel Vervoordt Gallery