in South Bend, Indiana, in 1907, Rickey was raised near Glasgow,
Scotland. Rickey read modern history at Balliol College, Oxford,
took classes in drawing at the Ruskin School, then studied painting
in Paris at André Lhote's academy and at the Académie
Moderne with Fernand Léger and Amédée Ozenfant.
the 1930s he painted first in a Cézannesque style, later
in a Depression-era, social realist mode. He supported himself by
teaching at Groton and at a series of colleges and universities.In
World War II Rickey served in the Army Air Corps, testing computing
instruments used by bomber gunners. The work required both mechanical
skill and understanding the effects of wind and gravity on ballistics,
laying the foundation of his move from painting to kinetic sculpture.
the G.I. Bill, Rickey studied at the Institute of Fine Arts at New
York University and from 1948-1949 attended the Institute of Design
in Chicago, an outpost of Bauhaus teaching. Intrigued by both the
history of constructivist art and by the mobiles of Alexander Calder,
he began creating kinetic sculptures. In the 1950s and early 1960s,
Rickey developed systems of motion for his sculpture that responded
to the slightest variation in air currents. Over the next three
decades he developed sculpture with parts made of lines, planes,
rotors, volumes, and churns, moving in paths that change from simple
oscillation to conical gyrations, describing a variety of planes
or volumes. Many works during this period have been large-scale
public commissions for sites in the United States, Europe, and Japan.
Rickey died at home in St. Paul, Minnesota, on 17 July 2002 at the
age of 95.