George
Rickey

(1907–2002)

Year created: 
1966
Three Lines, George Rickey

George Rickey. Three Lines. 1965-1966. Stainless steel. 18' High.

Click images for larger view

18' High

Stainless steel
deCordova Permanent Collection 1966.13, Gift of the Artist

George Rickey, along with Alexander Calder, introduced the notion of kinetic sculpture (sculpture capable of motion) to America in the mid-twentieth century. Rickey was the first to move his work outdoors, and became famous for braised and polished stainless steel sculptures of geometric forms that respond to the action of air currents. Their shiny surfaces contribute to the feeling of motion by the reflective play of light on metal. Three Lines is one of a number of sculptures in which thin blades in vertical configurations move gracefully through the air. According to the artist, "...the lines were an attempt to reduce the design to essentials. The line was tapered to allow for a counterweight and fulcrum near one end, with the remainder of the line sweeping in a wide, slow arc. I was aware of the precedent of a tapered line in engraving and pen strokes. I often thought of my moving lines as a limited yet indeterminate drawing in space." The motion of the lines also calls to mind the poetic notion of blades of grass in the wind.