Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner in 1956
Boston, Institute of Contemporary Art, 'George Rickey | Kinetic Sculptures,' March - April 1964, p. 6 (text)
Maxwell Davidson III, 'George Rickey: The Early Works,' Pennsylvania 2004, p. 110, illustrated
George Rickey received his art training from renowned Modernists Fernand Léger and Amédée Ozenfant in Paris. Rickey’s experience serving in World War II heightened his interested in mechanical systems, which inspired him to shift the focus of his practice from painting to kinetic sculptures. ‘Flowering Tree’ is exceptional among the artist’s many tree sculptures for its elaborate upper element. The sculpture was a gift to Stanley Myers, the Modernist architect, who helped to redesign Rickey’s home in the 1950s. The work has been in the Myers family collection ever since.
This work is in very good and sound condition overall. All elements are present and stable. There are minor paint losses and minor areas of oxidation to some of the blue elements, consistent with age and visible upon close inspection. Multiple blue elements were posthumously replaced and re-soldered by the Rickey Studio. Minor areas of paint were retouched by the Rickey Studio, not visible under Ultraviolet light inspection. There is scattered minor wear to the wooden base, consistent with age. The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.