Ursula von Rydingsvärd. Nothing but Art

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  • Saturday, November 6, 2021 - Sunday, February 6, 2022

Monumental sculptures by Ursula von Rydingsvärd evoke the ancient notion of sublimity. As we look at them in parks, on squares or incorporated into the wondrous architecture of American buildings, they enthuse us with their dynamic form. They testify to the artist's amazing ability to create poetic pieces made of cedar wood and charged with a personal and emotional touch.

During her over 40 years of artistic practice, Ursula von Rydingsvärd has acquired the skill to cross the cultural boundaries which reflect her intellectual and psychological development. She is one of the few artists in the world to operate with such a monumental form, combining precision and hard work reminiscent of medieval sculptors with modern abstract art to which she has given her own unique character. 

The direct impulse that resulted in holding an exhibition of her works in Poland was the display of six sculptures in the newly restored public space Giardino della Marinaressa, at the 56th Art Biennale in Venice in 2015, organized by Peter Murray and Yorkshire Sculpture Park. The display provoked a wide response in the world of art and media. Ursula von Rydingsvard is one of the most famous artists in the United States. Her works can be found in the most important collections and art centres such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art in Wisconsin, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Storm King Art Center sculpture park near New York and many other important institutions related to culture and science. The artist's importance has grown in the last 20 years.

The display in the National Museum in Krakow, including eleven sculptures made of cedar wood (and one of animal intestines), eleven drawings and one installation made of ready-made objects, is a representative cross-section of the artist's work, from Untitled (Nine Cones) created just one year after she graduated from the Art Department of Columbia University in 1975 to her latest works like Norduna II or Elegantka. Her sculptures are presented both inside the museum gallery and in public space, in front of the main complex.

The exhibition is the second display of Ursula von Rydingsvärd's art in Poland. The first one occurred in 1992 in the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw and was an important event for the artist, who returned to her home country after 30 years.

Visitors to the exhibition can watch three films about the life, work and art of Ursula von Rydingsvard. Two of them were made by Marcin Giżycki and Peter O'Neill: The Making a „Hand-e-over” (1997) and Unorthodox Geometry (1998) while the third one was directed by Daniel Traub: Into Her Own, 2019 which was recognized as one of the best documentaries in the United States in 2020.



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