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Ursula von Rydingsvard


October 27 – December 17, 2022

Press Release

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Opening Thursday, October 27, 2022, 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Galerie Lelong & Co., New York is pleased to announce a solo exhibition by Ursula von Rydingsvard, presenting new sculptures and drawings by the artist. Celebrated for her monumental sculptures in outdoor and indoor spaces, von Rydingsvard rigorously innovates her visual language in movement and intensity, her practice—that now numbers more than five decades—is suffused with a rich synthesis of form and emotion. The gallery’s exhibition follows a tour de force in Poland; a major retrospective to three museums that marked von Rydingsvard’s homecoming. The artist was born to a Polish-Ukrainian family that was deported for forced labor in Germany during World War II and emigrated to the U.S. after.

At the crux of von Rydingsvard’s desire for complexity is a profoundly vulnerable search and remembrance of places, people, and events. Grounded by her intuition, the artist has increased the depth and recurrence of thin, intricate crevices within the work’s interior, a technical 

accomplishment that rewards careful looking—an impression of a large mass accrues texture upon discovering gaps, punctures, and orifices smaller than a human hand. “The transitions claim a kind of movement, and I have the privilege of detouring these movements, making some larger than others. The movements for which I have an infinite amount of admiration are those on the surface of the ocean; for all of the world’s ocean surface, no one wave is like any other,” von Rydingsvard has shared.

In addition to the works’ physicality, von Rydingsvard places the pieces in subtle tension with the surfaces they encounter. The largest wall-based work, OBUDOWAĆ (2020-21) evokes the language of painting through the artist’s creation of negative space achieved by leaving four-by-four cedar beams—the material she has been working with for over 50 years—untouched. Von Rydingsvard gives Polish titles to a majority of her sculptures, and OBUDOWAĆ  [“rebuild”] is the first large sculpture produced after von Rydingsvard’s brief absence from the studio due to the pandemic.  

A new human-scale bronze work will be on view for the first time. Cast in bronze from a wood model, Bowl with Fingers evokes a form familiar to the artist’s oeuvre while the bronze compels von Rydinsgvard to consider the surface as a painting with each brush of the patina.

Von Rydingsvard’s bold assertion in commandeering any available space is similarly expressed in her drawings which has evolved to become a large part of her practice over the past two years. As von Rydingsvard never drafts her sculptures on paper before carving them on wood, these rarely exhibited works rendered in charcoal and graphite on paper stand alone as a refulgent imprint of the artist’s expanding curiosity; a raw wonderment that recalls the artist’s roots in Post-Minimalism.

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