Dieu Donné announces the opening of an exhibition of new works in handmade paper by artist Ursula von Rydingsvard. The exhibition highlights a selection of the artist’s first body of work in paper, created during her Lab Grant residency at the Dieu Donné studios. The artist, widely known for her massive and totemic sculptural works, collaborated with Artistic Director and master papermaker Paul Wong, to create a series of unique works over the term of her residency. Confronted with a medium that presented a complete departure for the artist, the residency allowed von Rydingsvard to delve into processes of fabrication alien to her own studio work – so solidly founded in the medium of wood. During her time at Dieu Donné the artist literally immersed herself in the papermaking method, forming image and content by utilizing loose paper pulp as medium. The entire series, over sixty works in all, were developed in a thorough investigation of the process, which included using pigmented pulp, playing with the tonality, opacity and transparency of the fiber selected, and exploring cotton, linen and abaca as pulp materials. The artist also incorporated personal materials and fabrics such as bits of cloth, crocheted segments, wire balls, and thread pulled into circular forms. In imagery, the artist maintains an adherence to a loose matrix of the grid, upon which she lays out her elements, in a wet-into-wet formation. The majority of the works investigate the protean nature of her process, which is reliant on water as vehicle – floating, joining and organizing the organic elements in her work. Von Rydingsvard ultimately developed a special relationship to the materials, well grounded in her techniques of working in wood. Faced with a more fluid form, the artist was exposed to the indirect consequences of nature affecting the final outcome. Processes interceded and had to be embraced – the flattening of pulp in hydraulic presses, extracting and evaporating water and drying pulp. Von Rydingsvard reveled in this unpredictability.
Ursula von Rydingsvard is represented by Galerie Lelong, which hosted its sixth solo exhibition of her work in the Spring of 2010. Her sculptural work can be seen at Storm King Art Center in Mountainville, New York, a major new work, titled LUBA (2009–2010), is a 17.5-foot-high, vessel-shaped object made of cedar planks, commissioned for the sculpture park’s 50th anniversary in April. Another outdoor commission can be seen at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, NC, entitled Ogromna, 2010. In 2011, the Sculpture Center, New York, will present a major exhibition of von Rydingsvard’s work. The exhibition will later travel to the deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln, Massachusetts, the Patricia and Philip Frost Museum, Miami, FL, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, OH; in 2008, the deCordova presented von Rydingsvard with its renowned Rappaport Prize. Von Rydingsvard’s works can be seen in over 30 public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City; Storm King Art Center, Mountainville, New York; and Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City.