Ursula von Rydingsvard’s large-scale abstract work refers to objects in the real world. Her textured, faceted surfaces reveal both traces of the human hand and natural forms and forces. Her art is represented in the permanent collections of over 30 museums, and is on view in multiple public locations across the country. Her sculpture MOCNA is located outdoors on the north side of Denning House, and is on view to the public.
About the artist
Ursula von Rydingsvard b. 1942, Deensen, Germany
Over a remarkable five-decade-long career, Ursula von Rydingsvard has become one of the most influential sculptors working today. She is best known for creating large-scale, often monumental sculpture from cedar beams, which she painstakingly cuts, assembles, and laminates before finally rubbing a graphite patina 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, such as bronze, paper, and resin, continuing to expand upon her unique artistic vocabulary. The artist’s large-scale bronze works can be found in many public spaces.
Von Rydingsvard’s work is represented in the permanent collections of 40 museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Missouri; Storm King Art Center, New York; Art Institute of Chicago and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Permanent commissioned sculptures by von Rydingsvard are on view in multiple public locations including the San Francisco International Airport, California; Stanford University, Palo Alto, California; Princeton University, New Jersey; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge; Bloomberg Corporation, New York; and Barclays Center, New York; among others. Recent solo museum exhibitions include Ursula von Rydingsvard: Nothing but Art, a touring retrospective in Poland that was held at the Centre of Polish Sculpture, Orońsko; Royal Łazienki Museum, Warsaw, and National Museum in Krakow; Ursula von Rydingsvard: The Contour of Feeling at the Fabric Workshop and Museum, Pennsylvania; Now, She, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania; Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton, UK and a solo presentation at the 56th Venice Biennale, Italy. A documentary feature about the artist’s practice Ursula von Rydingsvard: Into Her Own was released in 2019.
She has lived and worked in New York City for over 40 years.