Label Text: Artist, teacher, author and former KIA director, George Rickey, a man for all seasons, passed away Wednesday, July 17, 2002 at the age of 95. He came to Kalamazoo in 1939, as the first recipient of a Carnegie Foundation Artist-in-Residence grant. While also teaching art at Olivet and Kalamazoo College, he served as interim KIA director for about 6 months and maintained a studio in Fennville. Although he was only in Kalamazoo for two years, he maintained a lifelong friendship with the town and the KIA.
Rickey is most recognized for his large, steel kinetic sculptures that explore the relationship between time and space with their graceful, sweeping arms that move with air currents (see his 1973 sculpture, Four Lines Oblique, located at the entrance). But before switching to sculpture in the 1960s, George Rickey was a painter. Creating small landscapes, portraits and interior scenes, Rickey painted nature as it was and used basic, tonal colors to unify and balance his compositions. The Card Players (originally titled, Sunday in Fennville) was inspired by the natural composition of poses of a group of friends playing cards. One can also see a nod to Cezanne's work of the same name.