Richard Serra   Two-Plate Prop  (1975-6)

Richard Serra Two-Plate Prop (1975-6)

George Rickey   Two Horizontal Lines  (1966)

George Rickey Two Horizontal Lines (1966)

Richard Serra Two-Plate Prop (1975–6)
Cor-Ten Steel
Overall: 48 x 48 x 64 in. (121.9 x 121.9 x 162.6 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College: Gift of Dorothy and Roy Lichtenstein
© Richard Serra / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

George Rickey Two Horizontal Lines (1966)
Stainless Steel
Overall: 36 in. (91.44 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College: Gift of the artist
Art © Estate of George Rickey / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Reducing form to dual repeated instances of a minimal, basic geometry allows the balance of forces in the relationship between them to become the sculptures themselves. Their interaction is what makes the simple industrial components formally compelling, and what produces the energy that activates the space around them and establishes their relationship to the viewer.

The wind and friction that Rickey’s blades respond to, and the gravity that weighs down and holds up Serra’s props are the same forces of nature that act on everything in our physical world, including our own bodies. With the recognition of these familiar effects, we discover in the minimalistic industrial forms a naturalistic, relatable quality.

While neither of these works is figural in any sense, both reference a human experience of physical reality, and create a reflective space for meditation on the dynamic dualities of nature: movement and stasis, order and randomness, weight and balance.