Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ursula von Rydingsvard (cont.)

Expanding on my earlier entry on Ursula von Rydingsvard… all images are from Art21 site - http://www.pbs.org/art21/artists/vonrydingsvard/index.html

Born in the small town of Deensen Germany in 1942 migrated through the WWII Polish refugee camps to the United States along her family in 1945. When creating she draws from her experience in the refugee camps and her families struggle for survival. The camp barracks, with raw wooden floors and walls and ceilings, she relates this to this time as to how the Shakers might live. Building most of her sculptures of raw cedar which she considered “very neutral, almost like paper.”

The idea of a wood sculpture always using the same material and such raw material is interesting to me. Maybe not so unusual but a thing but the idea of making the material neutral or relating it to paper resonates with me as a painter. It turns the wood into the language with which she communicates with the viewer, it becomes about the wood as much about the creation. And looking at her work you can see this. Imagine if you created a chair out of raw cedar one would be just as much aware of the material and the chair.

Enough philosophy… She draws the templates for her sculptures and the exterior ends are individually crafted using a circular saw. The structure then is built up layer-by-layer and screwed into place and carefully marked with position information. Then it is taken apart and glued together for the final construction.

Though her work is abstract she draws on her past, landscape and utilitarian objects for her inspiration. The following image is one of her bowls that demonstrates how she plays with this simple form.

"Exploding Bowl"
Cedar, 32 x 56 x 55 inches.
© Ursula von Rydingsvard, courtesy the artist and Galerie Lelong, New York.

This is what the artist says of this piece:
"With my sculptures, I will take a bowl and I will get carried away with that bowl. And the license I give myself is the pleasure. The tangents I take with that bowl are an extension of me and where I want to wander, visually." - Ursula von Rydingsvard
“Doolin, Doolin” shown below is an example of one of her sculptures that draw from landscape and nature.
"Doolin, Doolin"
Cedar and graphite, 83 x 212 x 77 inches.
© Ursula von Rydingsvard, courtesy the artist and Galerie Lelong, New York.

This is what the artist says of this piece:
"What I do is I screw up the grid. I bulge it- make it go into agony. I sort of have fun with it, try to give it anxious moments, so that the end grain is almost like a grid stack. It looks much more organized. It looks much more regulated.”
- Ursula von Rydingsvard

1 comment:

Squerl said...

I really enjoyed your blog because you included the artist's own thoughts about their work. Laura