Landscape East of Galesburg
From 1940 to 1941, Rickey presided as the Carnegie Corporation’s Artist-in-Residence at Knox College. While at Knox, Rickey taught art, but also executed a large mural for the college titled The Offer of Education.The mural depicts famous historical figures bestowing knowledge on Knox faculty and students and includes an array of local scenes. This painting most likely served as a study for rural landscape views in the mural and follows the casual observational style of other Regionalist landscapes of the period. Rickey later earned fame for his abstract kinetic sculptures. Despite his shift to geometric abstraction, nature consistently influenced Rickey’s art throughout his career. This can be seen in the integration of his metal sculptural forms with the surrounding landscape, representing a vital connection between nature, modern human technology and the machine. This interest is perhaps foreshadowed in Landscape East of Galesburg with the melding of nature with such industrial forms as the telephone wires.