Symposium Celebrating the George Rickey Archive

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Symposium Celebrating the George Rickey Archive

September 25-26, 2009

Abstraction in the Public Sphere: New Approaches
Annenberg Auditorium, Snite Museum of Art
University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana

This symposium brings together a range of scholars discussing new perspectives on public abstract sculpture. It is being held at the University of Notre Dame in conjunction with three concurrent exhibitions of the work of South Bend, Indiana-born artist George Rickey (1907-2002), the well-known post-World War II kinetic sculptor. Keynote speakers include Nan Rosenthal, former senior consultant for Modern and Contemporary Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and curator of 20th-century art, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; and Mary Miss, world-acclaimed artist who bridges the disciplines of sculpture, architecture and landscape to comment on the environmental and social history of public spaces.

The symposium highlights new scholarship on postwar and contemporary abstract sculpture, particularly as it relates to a public audience and public space. Some papers directly address Rickey's production and others address the legacy of kinetics as a sculptural language, kinetic art and audience participation, movement and mobilization, and broader themes of industry, the machine, and interactivity. Speakers and participants include Maxwell Anderson, Joseph Becher, Michele Bogart, Larry Busbea, Erika Doss, Amanda Douberly, Lisa D. Freiman, Jennifer Gibson, Chuck Loving, Jennifer Geigel Mikulay, Philip Rickey, Michael Schreyach, Harriet Senie, Mary Caroline Simpson, Elyse Speaks, and Jens Zorn.

Thirteen sculptures—two outdoors and eleven indoors—are installed in the Snite Museum of Art entrance atrium and sculpture courtyard. They are representative artworks from the George Rickey Sculpture Archive, a promised gift of the George Rickey Foundation to the University of Notre Dame’s Snite Museum and Notre Dame Archives. A collection catalog of all George Rickey sculptures in the Snite Museum collection will be published in September 2009.

For further information on the symposium see the website at:

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