The first large-scale survey in Europe by highly acclaimed American artist Ursula von Rydingsvard opens at Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) on 5 April 2014. The exhibition, which is the artist’s most extensive to date, illustrates the full scope of von Rydingsvard’s diverse practice, with more than 40 works of drawing and sculpture made over the last two decades, presented in YSP’s purpose-built Underground Gallery and the open air.
One of America’s most inventive and individual artists, with work in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art, among others, von Rydingsvard has evolved a distinctive, highly personal sculptural language that has become synonymous with cedar, the wood that lies at the heart of her practice. The exhibition features wall-mounted works, monolithic structures and other complex forms, most of which are meticulously assembled from 4”x4” cedar beams.
The cedar beams serve as von Rydingsvard’s blank canvas, a starting point from which she explores psychological and emotional themes. Her works do not grow from sketches or drawings on paper; rather their development is instinctive and responsive throughout the making process, imbuing the works with a feeling of life and a tangibly visceral quality. Having worked directly with cedar for 35 years using chisels and circular saws, von Rydingsvard is now allergic to the wood and consequently works for up to eight hours a day wearing a heavy, air-pumped protective suit.
A sculpture by Ursula von Rydingsvard will be featured in the Laurent-Perrier Garden designed by Luciano Giubbilei at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 20 – 24 May 2014.
About the artist
Von Rydingsvard studied sculpture at Columbia University, graduating with an MFA in 1975. Her work has since been exhibited in numerous museums and galleries worldwide. Her sculpture is represented in the permanent collections of over 30 museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of Art, Walker Art Center, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Storm King Art Center, and Detroit Institute of Arts. Von Rydingsvard will be awarded the International Sculpture Center’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014.