George Rickey and Alexander Calder: Wind Art Pioneers

Sculptor Mark White has been making kinetic wind art for decades; over time, he’s developed a style and creative practice all his own. Nevertheless, no artist works in a vacuum, and Mark is quick to acknowledge his creative influences.

Alexander Calder (1898-1976 with one of his famous mobiles.

The mobile sculpture of Alexander Calder is some of modern art’s most immediately recognizable: delicate and finely balanced, Calder’s quirkily shaped works respond to subtle shifts in wind currents. Mark admires Calder’s use of bold shapes, which was a downright radical aspect of Calder’s practice when initiated in the middle of the twentieth century.

Alexander Calder’s mobile “Yellow Sail” from 1951

George Rickey (1907-2002) with a couple of his sculptures.

George Rickey was an important pioneer in the field of kinetic or wind-driven artwork. His sculptures, often monumental in size, make use of geometric, clearly defined shapes, that nevertheless take on an organic, placid elegance as they move in the wind. It’s work that is still feels conceptually cutting-edge, while it maintains an organic, peaceful visual effect.

George Rickey’s monumental sculpture “Two Rectangles” from 1987, installed in New Zealand.

Which artist are you most drawn to? Can you think of any others who remind you of Mark?