George Rickey (American, 1907–2002)

Two Open Rectangles, Excentric, Variation VI, 1976

Stainless steel, 12 x 3 feet. Purchase with funds provided by the Friends of Art Acquisition Fund and a matching grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. 1977.002

Location: In front of Johnson Memorial Building

George Rickey’s kinetic sculptures do not use mechanical devices of any kind to create movement. Inspired by Alexander Calder’s mobiles, Rickey arranged the spare and geometric elements of his sculptures so that they are free to move with the surrounding air currents. These create random patterns of movement within tightly controlled perameters.

Two Open Rectangles, Excentric, Variation VI keeps the viewer in a state of constant suspense. The sculpture creates the impression that the two rectangles interpenetrate, even though they do not, and that they will collide, even though they cannot. Rickey’s work is neither gestural nor anthropomorphic. His interest lay in the moving object itself and the sculpture’s articulation of its environment.

George Rickey, Two Open Rectangles

George Rickey, Two Open Rectangles

George Rickey (American, 1907–2002) Two Open Rectangles, Excentric, Variation VI, 1976 Stainless steel, 12 x 3 feet. Purchase with funds provided by the Friends of Art Acquisition Fund and a matching grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. 1977.002 Location: In front of Johnson Memorial Building

Jules Olitski (American, born Ukraine, 1922–2007)

King Kong, 1973

Cor-ten steel, 5 feet x 9 feet 4 inches x 8 feet 5 inches. Gift of Sophia Healy. 1994.003

Location: In front of Johnson Memorial Building

Jules Olitski is better known as a painter, but he also created a significant body of large-scale sculpture. An active participant in the Color Field Movement of the 1960s and 1970s, he poured and sponged large areas of modulated colors onto the canvas. He also painted the surfaces of his first sculptures. In 1973 he began to use Cor-ten steel, giving his sculptural surfaces a monochromatic sheen that matched the voluptuousness of his earlier paintings.

Jules Olitski, King Kong

 

King Kong consists of two circular, concentric rings, the smaller one contained and partially hidden within the larger. Olitski altered the outer ring by cutting into and puncturing its surface, leaving behind negative imprints that vary in size from quite large to almost invisible. These openings partially reveal the inner ring and suggest narrative or symbolic meaning. Four crude gashes into the upper, bounding periphery allow the sculpture to be read as a primitive crown, as well as work of art that has suffered major damage caused by the attack of a gigantic simian, the mythic King Kong.