George Rickey was an abstract kinetic sculptor, who was influenced by Alexander Calder’s sculpture and Constructivism. His experience as a mechanical engineer in the Army Air Corp during the Second World War also impacted his aesthetic, and provided a counterbalance to his poetic sensibility.
Like Calder, Rickey developed systems of motion for his geometric sculpture – comprised of lines, planes, rotors, volumes, and churns – that oscillated and gyrated across a variety of planes and volumes according to the slightest variation in air currents. Rickey created his sculptures of reflective stainless steel.
Oblique Column of Open Squares was crafted in 1981. It is over fourteen feet wide and pivots gracefully in a circular motion around a 360-degree trajectory, while 12 square steel constructions gently wave back and forth. Though the squares move independently, they are connected to the motion of the main pillar and maintain a dialog between unpredictable motion and prescribed order. This sculpture was previously installed on the campus of the GE Global Research Center in Schenectady, New York.