Grand Rapids, MI (August 21, 2007) - A major traveling exhibition of works by renowned Yaddo sculptor George Rickey will travel this fall to the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
George Rickey Kinetic Sculpture: A Retrospective, a 50-year survey of both indoor and outdoor sculptures, features 52 works borrowed from public and private collections. It is the first such exhibition of his sculpture since an important survey of his work was presented in 1979 at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. The exhibition premiered in February at the Vero Beach Museum of Art on the centennial of the artist's birth and was the inaugural show in the Alice and Jim Beckwith Sculpture Park at the Florida museum. It opens September 28 in Grand Rapids and will be on view there through December 31. It is then scheduled to move to the Marion Koogler McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas, in the fall of 2008.
Recognized worldwide for his abstract kinetic sculptures, Mr. Rickey trained originally as a painter. But in 1949 he began to create sculptures with moving parts that evolved into heavy stainless steel geometric structures delicately balanced to rotate on precision bearings he devised himself. The arms of the pieces were poised so that natural air currents would cause them to sweep, spin, or swirl through the air. His international reputation was established in 1964, when his kinetic piece "Two Lines Temporal" was shown at the international art fair Documenta III shortly after his first Yaddo residency in 1963. He returned to Yaddo in 1998 for a month-long working visit.
In 2000, in honor of the 100th anniversary of the founding of Yaddo, Mr. Rickey established an endowed residency to support the visits of young visual artists. Designees to the George Rickey Endowed Residency include Ron Baron, Stas Orlovski, and Carol Pereira.
A major monograph on the sculptor's life and work accompanies the exhibition, which was organized and curated by Lucinda H. Gedeon, Executive Director of the Vera Beach Museum of Art with support from The Henry Luce Foundation, Inc., and the George Rickey Foundation.
"This exhibition is unique in that these sculptures function as both objects and an event that's ever changing," said Dr. Joseph Becherer, Director of Exhibitions and Curator of the Sculpture Program at Meijer Gardens. "Most of Rickey's pieces have a wind driven element that provides an endless series of combined shapes and movements. We are proud to be the only Midwest destination to display these intriguing kinetic sculptures."
George Rickey: A Retrospective at Meijer Gardens includes the following educational activities to enhance the viewer's experience. All of the following activities are included in the price of admission.
Curator's Choice: George Rickey In Perspective
Joseph Becherer, Director and Curator, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park and James Bridenstine, Director, Kalamazoo Institute of Art
October 2, 7 p.m.
Join Jim and Joe as they tour the George Rickey retrospective both in the galleries and across the grounds of Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. As museum professionals with unique ties to the sculpture of Rickey, both will offer unique insight into the development of his repertoire.
The Science of Sculpture
Jens Zorn, Professor of Physics, University of Michigan
October 6, 2 p.m.
George Rickey (1907-2002) is well known for his kinetic sculptures with nature-driven motions. Learn about the sculpture of Rickey as well as others at Meijer Gardens that are not only visually engaging but are also demonstrations of physics and engineering. Experience the work of artists such as Kenneth Snelson, Mark di Suvero, and Alexander Calder. A short tour of the relevant sculptures on display will follow the lecture.
The Work of George Rickey
Valerie Fletcher, Curator of Modern Art, Hirschhorn Sculpture Park, Smithsonian Institute
October 13, 2 p.m.
Dr. Valerie Fletcher will present an illustrated lecture on the art of George Rickey through seven decades, situating his ideas, styles, and materials in their historical contexts. Along with some technical aspects, the presentation will focus especially on the poetics of motion and the underlying social purpose of his kinetic sculptures.
Smith's Aerospace Engineer
November 3, 2 p.m.
A unique gallery-walk of the George Rickey exhibition by an engineer from Smith's Aerospace. The walk will be focused on an engineer's perspective of how the sculptures in the exhibition move and on Rickey's early training as an engineer.
Aerodynamics in the work of George Rickey
Rick Harter, Kalamazoo Air Zoo
November 10, 2 p.m.
A presentation by Rick Harter, aviation artist and consultant at the Air Zoo, on the principles and influence of aerodynamics on Rickey's compositions.
The Moving World of George Rickey
Movie playing continuously in Hoffman Auditorium
Watch this insightful film tracing the artist's life from his childhood in Scotland through working in his 90's in 1998. Listen to the artist describe his inspirations and work process and observe his beautiful sculptures in motion.
Click here for a direct link to the online Yaddo Artists Calendar for the hours the exhibition is open in Michigan.