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At the end of the 1950s, Rickey created Acrobats. In this small tabletop sculpture, a thin stainless steel base extends up and splits in two. On either side, multiple small planes, brightly enameled on both surfaces, turn on pivots. This is one of Rickey’s last works to utilize the device of a pivot, which allowed only a few options for movement and greatly restricted size. By the end of the decade, he had formulated more stable assemblies allowing for delicate works that shifted dynamically and fluidly, often with simultaneous motion through multiple planes. The years spent practicing the lightness of Calder’s mobiles and experimenting with the constructive method and metal-working skills of Smith had culminated in the creation of his own oeuvre of mechanisms and forms to describe motion—pendulums, gimbals, rotors, lines, blades, and planes—that would be eagerly received by both American and European audiences in the next decade.
from Kephart, Passages of Light and Time: George Rickey's Life in Motion (Notre Dame, 2009)