Ursula von Rydingsvard, one of America’s most fearless and distinguished artists with work featured in collections at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art, New York, explores psychological and emotional themes through her art and has honed a distinctive, highly personal approach to sculpture over the course of a career which spans the last four decades. In the setting of the Giardino della Marinaressa, and as an official Collateral Event at the prestigious 56th International Art Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia, Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) presents a major open-air exhibition of six of von Rydingsvard sculptures under the curatorship of Peter Murray CBE, YSP’s Founding and Executive Director.
The installation will be von Rydingsvard’s first exhibition in Italy and draws inspiration from the artist’s 2014 exhibition at YSP – her largest single presentation to date – which included more than 40 works of drawing and sculpture in the park’s Underground Gallery. The exhibition has been developed in association with the Municipalità di Venezia Murano Burano, coordinated in Venice by Ambiente e Arts and supported by the American and European Friends of Ursula von Rydingsvard, Luciano Giubbilei and Galerie Lelong.
Although known for her work with cedar, von Rydingsvard has also adopted materials like bronze and resin into her creative process in recent years, and usually casts the bronze and resin elements from cedar, embedding into different media the textural idiosyncrasies of the wood as a continuation of the essence of the original material. Her latest exhibition for la Biennale di Venezia marks a continuation of this theme and artistic process.
In addition to three visually imposing cedar sculptures meticulously assembled from 4″x4″ cedar beams are two monolithic bronzes, Heart in Hand (2014) and Bronze Bowl with Lace (2014). The showcase is completed by the ice-blue resin piece Elegantka II (2013–14), which alters in its appearance with shifts in weather conditions and volumes of light and forms a startling centre piece to the exhibition in the Giardino della Marinaressa, a public park located along the Riva dei Sette Martiri, Castello, and close to the National Pavilions of la Biennale di Venezia.
Von Rydingsvard studied sculpture at Columbia University, graduating with an MFA in 1975. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, two awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, three awards from the American section of the International Association of Art Critics, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Ursula von Rydingsvard, 56th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, 9 May – 22 November, Giardino della Marinaressa, Venice.
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1. Ursula von Rydingsvard, Droga, 2009. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Lelonge.