Sale: 550 / Evening Sale, June 07. 2024 in Munich Lot 17

George Rickey
Four Rectangles Oblique II, 1978.
Stainless steelstainless steel
€ 80,000 - 120,000

$ 85,600 - 128,400

Four Rectangles Oblique II. 1978.
Stainless steelstainless steel.
Signed, dated and numbered “3/3 1978” on the base. From an edition of 3 copies plus 1 artist copy. 259 x 130 cm (101.9 x 51.1 in).

• Weightless elegance in motion.
• Exciting interplay of stability and lightness.
• An early example from the group of the “Rectangles”.
• Outdoor sculpture of an impressive size

PROVENANCE: Walter and Marjorie Davis, USA.
Private collection, West Coast, USA.
Galerie Michael Haas, Zurich.
Onnasch, Berlin.

EXHIBITION: George Rickey, Important Works from the Estate, Marlborough Chelsea, New York, February 18-20, 2010, p. 27 (different copy).

LITERATURE: Wieland Schmied (ed.), George Rickey, Kestner-Gesellschaft Hanover, July 13 - September 30, 1973, cat. no. 41, pp. 68/69 (different copy).
Sotheby's, New York, auction on October 6, 1992, lot 60.
Christie's, New York, auction on May 14, 2014, lot 281.
Abstand. Episode 2 - Gegenwart, cat. Galerie Haas, Berlin/Zurich 2020, no. 1, p. 2.

Called up: June 7, 2024 - ca. 17.32 h +/- 20 min.

George Rickey was active as a painter, muralist, and sculptor. His versatile oeuvre, which encompasses paintings from the 1920s to the most recent sculptures of the early 2000s, is characterized by four themes: movement, color, relationships, and proportion. In his efforts to visualize movement, Rickey used a basic formal vocabulary of shapes, lines, planes, triangles, and rectangles. These clear forms could be easily adjusted in size and alignment to explore the differences in the natural forces that set his sculpture in motion. What is special about George Rickey's sculptures is the suggestion of weightlessness and the play with gravity. Most of his works relate to the wind; they are a subtle visualization of the forces of air. Inspired by the work of Alexander Calder, he created his first mobiles in 1945. George Rickey developed his work based on the ideas of movement and natural time. Unlike the contemporary Jean Tinguely, all of Rickey's mobiles and kinetic sculptures move without an auxiliary motor. The first version of the "Four Rectangles Oblique II" was created in 1972, and further copies soon followed. Four large rectangles are mounted like branches on a thin trunk. The sculpture suggests an unstable balance and thus confuses our sense of space. Rickey creates this illusion by using invisible weights that shift the center of gravity to the edge of the panels, thus adding stability to the sculpture. The rectangles initially appear heavy and solid, but the ease with which they can be moved in all directions is all the more astonishing.
It is the wind that sets the rectangles in motion. Suspended or mounted on ball bearings at various points on a fork-like frame construction, they respond to even the slightest breeze. Depending on the wind force, they circle their axis at the same speed or in the opposite direction, constantly producing new figures. “What makes Rickey's works so astonishing at first glance is their suspension of gravity, his displacement or shifting of the center of gravity. His steel rods and his steel plates move in a completely different way than they should, they suggest an unstable equilibrium and thus challenge our sense of space. [..] Most of Rickey's works have a certain affinity to the wind, they are a subtle visualization of the forces of air, a visualization of air streams, they convey an awareness of how time flows, how it passes." (Wieland Schmied, in: George Rickey. Kinetische Skulpturen 1956-2000, Galerie Brockstedt, Hamburg/Berlin 2003, pp. 11f.) As a creator of kinetic sculptures, Rickey is both a designer and a free artistic spirit. Technique is not art, but every art has its technique. Accordingly, his studio was more like a workshop than an artist's studio. His sculptures, which explore phenomena of real mechanical movement, are characterized by an incomparable, weightless poetry, despite all the technical considerations on which they are based. [SM]

Buyer's premium, taxation and resale right compensation for George Rickey "Four Rectangles Oblique II"
This lot can only be purchased subject to regular taxation, artist‘s resale right compensation is due.

Regular taxation:
Hammer price up to 800,000 €: herefrom 27 % premium.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 800,000 € is subject to a premium of 21% and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 800,000 €.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 4,000,000 € is subject to a premium of 15% and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 4,000,000 €.
The statutory VAT of currently 19 % is levied to the sum of hammer price and premium. As an exception, the reduced VAT of 7 % is added for printed books.

Calculation of artist‘s resale right compensation:
For works by living artists, or by artists who died less than 70 years ago, a artist‘s resale right compensation is levied in accordance with Section 26 UrhG:
4 % of hammer price from 400.00 euros up to 50,000 euros,
another 3 % of the hammer price from 50,000.01 to 200,000 euros,
another 1 % for the part of the sales proceeds from 200,000.01 to 350,000 euros,
another 0.5 % for the part of the sale proceeds from 350,000.01 to 500,000 euros and
another 0.25 % of the hammer price over 500,000 euros.
The maximum total of the resale right fee is EUR 12,500.

The artist‘s resale right compensation is VAT-exempt.