Ursula von Rydingsvard 1997

Hand-E-Over, 1996-97 Image 1 of 3
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Slepa Gienia (Blind Eugeie), 1994 Photo Jerry Hardman Jones Image 2 of 3
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Three Bowls, 1990 Image 3 of 3
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22.08.97 - 16.11.97
Marjorie Allthorpe-Guyton opened this exhibition of sculpture by the American artist, Ursula con Rydinsvard at Yorkshire Sculpture Park in the summer of 1997. Seven large works, one measuring over 200 feet long were transported from New York, making this one of the most significant exhibitions of the artist’s work to date.

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von Rydingsvard constructs monumental sculpture from lengths of ceder beams which are hacked and carved, laminated together and then darkened with graphite. Developed over many years, this distinctive and highly laborious style of working creates unique and powerful sculptures. Her work combines large-scale minimal forms with an organic handling of materials to make sculptures with a dramatic sense of contained energy which are intimately related to the landscape, the human figure and domestic objects.

In an interview, the artist compared the surfaces of her works with eroded walls where ‘there is no longer a strict line between that which man has made and that which nature has made’. Sited within the historic, wide, rolling landscape of the Lower Park, the sculptures appeared other-worldly and their repetition of common units, such as bowls or vessels, gave them a primitive flavour, allied to an ancient chant. Their enchanting titles, Slepa Gienia, Hand-e-over and Doolin Doolin, suggest something of von Rydingsvard’s childhood and highlight the continuing importance of that time through her use of the Polish language.