Over her four-decade career, Ursula von Rydingsvard has become one of the most influential postwar sculptors working today. She is best known for creating large-scale, often monumental sculpture from cedar beams, which she painstakingly cuts, assembles, and laminates, finally rubbing powdered graphite into the work’s textured, faceted surfaces. Her signature abstract shapes refer to things in the real world—vessels, bowls, tools, and other objects—each revealing the mark of the human hand while also summoning natural forms and forces. In recent years, von Rydingsvard has explored other mediums in depth, particularly bronze, continuing to expand upon her unique artistic vocabulary.
Von Rydingsvard’s work is represented in the permanent collections of over 30 museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York;
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Walker Art Center, Minnesota; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Missouri; Storm King Art Center, New York; and Detroit Institute of Arts, Michigan. She has presented major solo exhibitions at numerous institutions, most recently at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in England. Permanent commissioned sculptures by von Rydingsvard are on view in multiple public locations including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Microsoft Corporation, Washington; Princeton University, New Jersey; Bloomberg Corporation, New York; and Barclays Center, New York; among others. Ursula von Rydingsvard: The Contour of Feeling will open at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Pennsylvania in April 2018. Now, She, a solo exhibition of large-scale outdoor sculptures, will concurrently be on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Von Rydingsvard was born 1942 in Deensen, Germany. She has lived and worked in New York City for over 40 years.