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Four Rectangles Oblique
The blade was a simple, slender, poetic shape that recalled the needles, masts, and clock pendulums from Rickey’s past and resembled the blades of grass and swaying tree branches that surrounded him in East Chatham New York. It allowed him to investigate which kinds of technology achieved the subtlest movements, and how weights and forms might create a specific type of motion. In an interview, he related how this lean, straightforward form let him focus on understanding how construction and movement worked: “I could try and reduce the elements to their simplest possible essence. And it is that which has led me to using linear forms, to try to eliminate everything that is not contributing to the movement.” As each blade was added to a sculpture, it suggested ideas for other shapes and movements. Shifting and crossing one another, the blades wove a story of Rickey’s progression through the discovery of motion.
This focus on blades provided the sculptor with an understanding of motion that gradually led him to involve other forms. He began working again with planes, which used the same pendulum technology as blades, and then in 1966 he began to stack the planes. One example of this, Four Rectangles Oblique, from 1972, examines the movement of rectangular planes. Four rectangles form a square, with each segment presenting different motions that combine into a fluid wave.
from Kephart, Passages of Light and Time: George Rickey's Life in Motion (Notre Dame, 2009)