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Two Planes Vertical–Horizontal II, 1969-70
George Warren Rickey (1907-2002)
Location: Pierson College Courtyard

George Rickey’s earliest works of kinetic sculpture were mobiles in the manner of Alexander Calder, but in mature pieces like Two Planes Vertical–Horizontal II, the artist eschewed all representation and sought to isolate the concept of movement as the sole subject on display. Rickey’s interest in the lyrical dance between the physical forces of gravity and wind began during World War II through his job computing ballistics in B-52 bombers. He later carefully constructed his large-scale sculptures to be a delicate balance of counterweights that react to the subtlest atmospheric conditions to achieve constant non-motorized motion. In this piece, the burnished stainless steel plates shimmer to make more visible their slow and graceful rotations, and viewers are meant to sense the passing of time as they observe the unpredictable yet repetitive patterns of movement. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Shields, B.A. 1929, in 1970