Ursula von Rydingsvard: Working
This beautifully produced catalog surveys the past thirty years of Ursula von Rydingsvard s immense abstract sculptures, often shaped from cedar beams. Von Rydingsvard's massive sculptures reveal the trace of the human hand and resemble wooden bowls, tools, and walls that seem to echo the artist's Polish heritage. Born in Germany in 1942, she and her family were among the dispossessed forced to move from one refugee camp to another for years after that country's defeat; they eventually settled in the United States. The artist's respect for organic materials and the dignity of labour, and the sense of loss, pain, and persistent memories that inform her work, may be traced back to these formative experiences. Essentially abstract, von Rydingsvard's monumental site-specific work frequently references familiar forms, from mountains to simple tools and bowl-like vessels. The aggressive cuts and delicate lines made by the artist leave an indelible trace of human touch and intention. A selection of process shots, drawings, and views of works in various stages of construction lends additional context and a sense of the process behind the artist's intensely physical and deeply personal art.