Ursula von Rydingsvard
November 4 – December 15, 1995
Socks on My Spoons
The University Museum of Contemporary Art is pleased to present the exhibition Ursula von Rydingsvard: Socks on My Spoons, which features a selection of the artist's most recent work.
Ursula von Rydingsvard has become known for her sculptures made from cedar which bear associations with anatomy, hand-made tools and objects, and organic forms found in the landscape. Although the work is speculative in meaning, there is an overwhelming sense of the deep-seated urges and traits that cause people to want to make, to mark and to remember. Coming up from under, von Rydingsvard's forms are, in a way, a non-verbal journal reflecting the combination of childhood memories, which contain the presence of her heritage and beliefs, her working methods and materials, and the choices made and influences gathered throughout her life.
The artist was born in Germany in 1942 four years after her parents were forced to flee their native Poland because of the war. The family of nine lived in a number of German refugee camps for Poles where life was regimented, but free enough for them to continue to practice Catholicism and for their father to start up small farms at the various camps. Von Rydingsvard was largely educated in the United States when her family was able to move here in 1950. She received her Bachelor of Arts and her Master of Arts from the University of Miami, Coral Gables, and her Master of Fine Arts in 1975 from Columbia University, New York. She visited Poland for the first time in 1985, and the Ukraine, the place of her father's birth, last summer.
Ursula von Rydingsvard,
detail, Untitled (two plates),
University of Massachusetts
Ursula von Rydingsvard, installation view,
Socks on My Spoons, 1995, photography:
Creative Services, University of Massachusetts
Between 1978 and 1986, the artist taught at several institutions including Pratt Institue and Yale University. She joined the Graduate Division of the School of the Visual Arts in 1986 as a Professor where she continues to teach and to guide a younger generation of artists.