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Unstable Rhombus and Square

Rickey, George

Unstable Rhombus and Square

stainless steel

1986 Gift of the Family of Albert Thalheimer

George Rickey, one of the world's foremost kinetic sculptors, followed the pioneering path of Alexander Calder. Rickey's father was a mechanical engineer and his grandfather was a clockmaker. Rickey developed a knack for mechanical things. His mechanical aptitude surfaced while he was serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps. In Rickey's sculpture, "Unstable Rhombus and Square" air currents initiate movement. The subsequent motion is governed by the weight and precise position of each component of the sculpture. Rickey's sculptures demonstrate the laws of physics dealing with force, friction, gravity, inertia and pendulum movement. Eight stainless steel rods are oriented around a central shaft. As air currents cause each rod to move, they create square and rhomboid shapes. Rickey's kinetic sculpture, composed with movement, provides a skillfully choreographed definition of shape and space.