National Museum of Women in the Arts
Celebrated as one of the most influential sculptors working today, Ursula von Rydingsvard is best known for her large-scale works and signature use of cedar wood. Her sculptures’ abstract shapes reference the mark of the human hand—evidence of the artist’s meticulous process of cutting, shaping, and assembling her works from thousands of cedar blocks—while simultaneously evoking the grandeur and power of nature.
Guest curated by Mark Rosenthal, Ursula von Rydingsvard: The Contour of Feeling focuses on von Rydingsvard’s artistic development since 2000 and her continued commitment to experimentation throughout her career. Alongside a survey of recent works, the inclusion of select early sculptures will provide insight into the artist’s longstanding material and thematic interests. Featuring approximately 20 works—over half of which are large scale—the exhibition includes many sculptures never before exhibited in the United States.
The Contour of Feeling will also mark the debut of a new large-scale sculpture created in collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum specifically for the exhibition. Constructed from leather—a first for the artist—the piece’s scale is in keeping with recent work, while the new material represents an expansion for von Rydingsvard’s practice. It will mark the second collaboration between the artist and FWM, the first being in 1989 when she created a new work from felt.
By spotlighting her more recent work and contrasting it with earlier pieces, Ursula von Rydingsvard: The Contour of Feeling highlights the artist’s evolution and presents a window into a unique synthesis of emotional fragility and imposing scale in her work that marks von Rydingsvard as an extraordinary artist of our time.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website