Ursula von Rydingsvard: Primitive Jarring
May 9 through June 21, 2003
Opening Reception: Friday, May 9, 6:00 PM to 8:00 p.m.
A large cedar multi-footed vessel sculpture with a top that opens and shuts, along with a fourteen foot tall bowl and a colossal staircase form the core of Ursula von Rydingsvard's fourth solo show at Galerie Lelong. The exhibition will open to the public on Friday, May 9th from 6 to 8 PM: the artist will be present.
Ursula von Rydingsvard takes forms which are familiar in quotidian life, such as stairs, bowls and jars, and transforms them in raw milled cedar into a monumental scale. The surfaces, hacked and furrowed, emanate both contained movement and a rhythmic grace.
Primitive Jarring is organized around three central sculptures, one of which is kinetic. This is not the first time that von Rydingsvard has worked with motion in her sculpture. She has honed the tension between the slight movement of the jar's top, and its weighty thud, endowing the exhibition with a sense of restrained emotion and repetitive labor. A classic form often used by the artist – the bowl – is presented in this exhibition as a monumental piece, fourteen feet high, dominating the gallery with its strong but subtle presence. A series of new relief sculptures, in which the artist integrates drawing with the cedar, titled "Lace Medallions", complete the show.
These works, made of cedar sometimes rubbed with graphite, speak to us about presence and mass. At the same time they communicate sensuality and emotion, and a sense of intimacy, which belies their size. "Being big doesn't mean being invulnerable", said the artist in a 2002 interview with the writer, Avis Berman. Primitive Jarring shows von Rydingsvard at the height of her powers, presenting sculptures intimate in feeling and primal in scope.
Born in 1942 in Deensen, Germany, Ursula von Rydingsvard has had a distinguished career. Her outdoor sculpture has been exhibited at the Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Koln Skulptur Park, in Cologne, Germany and New York's Central Park (organized by The Public Art Fund), 2000-2001. Ms. von Rydingsvard's most recent museum exhibition in the New York area was On an Epic Scale, at the Neuberger Museum in Winter 2002. She has exhibited internationally at Galerie Lelong, Zurich (2000) and Galerie Lelong, Paris (September 2002). The Butler Gallery in Kilkenny, Ireland will mount the artist's first museum show in Ireland in Summer 2003. Her four-story public commission at the Queens County Family Courthouse in Jamaica, Queens, Katul-Katul, was installed in February 2003.
Ursula von Rydingsvard's exhibition, Primitive Jarring, continues through Saturday, June 21, 2003. Galerie Lelong is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 AM to 6 PM. Ursula von Rydingsvard will present an artist talk at the gallery on Saturday, May 10th at 11 AM.