Ursula von Rydingsvard: Three Monumental Sculptures (Hey Diddle, untitled, and Corrugated Rollers)

About the Exhibition

Ursula von Rydingsvard (b.1942, Deensen, Germany) creates her sculptures with 4” x 4” milled-cedar beams, which she laminates together into large blocks. Using chisels, mallets, and hand-held circular saws and grinders, she manipulates the soft cedar into shapes that evoke rock formations, rustic dwellings and scooped-out hollows, which in turn suggest bowls, tubs, nests, graves, feeding troughs and primitive, man-made tools. When the sculptures are completed, the wood is rubbed with powdered graphite to darken the surface.

The hacked, expressive surfaces of von Rydingsvard’s sculptures denote strong emotional and psychological states. On first encounter, the works may seem foreboding, even threatening. Upon closer examination of the works, one senses the underlying human qualities of these objects. The artist’s complex vocabulary of forms has arisen from many sources, including that of her childhood memories of displaced-persons camps in Eastern Europe during World War II.

Von Rydingsvard works almost exclusively in cedar, though she has also experimented with bronze, rubber, lead, cast iron, and other materials. For her imagery, she reaps from man-made structures such as ancient architecture, as well as nature. She says that, “wood as it comes from trees…[is] capable of much more than anything I could do with it.” Her aim is “not to repeat nature…[but] to make my own kind of relationship with nature.”

Hey Diddle is located in the lobby of One MetroTech Center. Corrugated Rollers and untitled are on view on the MetroTech Commons.



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