Arts & Culture

“One Line” Completes the Circle

Celebrating the third George Rickey exhibition at Naumkeag.

The installation of the George Rickey (1907-2002) kinetic sculptures for ViewEscapes: George Rickey at Naumkeag has been taking place over the past two weeks.  As of April 13,  nine outdoor works, six indoor sculptures and 3 artworks have been installed.

ViewEscapes opens April 22, 2022 and runs through November.

All of this has gone well and to schedule. We have made good use of the past two years to prepare for this installation. The idea for the show goes back to May 2020 during the first wave of the pandemic. The challenge was to think of something that we could bring to Naumkeag that would be a big, fun, beautiful opportunity when the world finally reopened. That is when we (myself, Portfolio Director Brian Cruey and Senior Curator Christie Jackson) landed on the idea of an outdoor sculpture show at Naumkeag that would continue the traditions of art and design that are deeply rooted in all that is Naumkeag. That’s when we thought George Rickey! For several reasons the idea had strength, including his works having been in the first Sculpture at Naumkeag ’94 and that the studio was only a short drive across the border in East Chatham, NY.

This idea led to a collaboration with the George Rickey Foundation and the George Rickey Estate. Selections of sculpture for the show primarily from these two collections grew from a modest preliminary installation of a few works to the exhibition that now totals twenty-three sculptures and spans George Rickey’s long career as an artist and master kinetic sculptor.

The installation will finish, for now, with Nuages VI (1968) installed over the Naumkeag dining table just as it has floated over the dining room table in the Rickey house in East Chatham for decades. Horizontal Column of Seven Squares Excentric (1996) will go in the Evergreen Garden pool, in the same place where Horizontal Column of Five Squares Excentric (1994) moved in the first Naumkeag sculpture show. The final installation will be One Line Horizontal Floating (1994) over the Linden Allee, as it was at the 1994 exhibition at Naumkeag. Single line forms are one of George Rickey’s most significant themes (we have sculptures based on this theme by George Rickey at Field Farm in Williamstown, Eight Lines III (Sketch for Twenty Four Lines) (1963) on loan from the Williams College Museum of Art, Lawrence Bloedel ’23 bequest and at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Three Lines (1964) for all to experience)

One Line completes the circle.

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