Paddy-Wack, 1997. Cedar and Graphite, 6 x 30 x 60 ft.

Ursula von Rydingsvard: Post-Emerging

Ursula von Rydingsvard is “just getting over not being called an emerging artist.” In an art world where stars rise overnight, oftentimes in their 20s and 30s, it has taken von Rydingsvard some time to become a marquee name. For years, she labored in her studio without extensive acclaim, her achievements somehow mimicking the process of creating her cedar sculptures: deliberative, thoughtful, and painstaking. She was 46 years old when Untitled (Seven Mountains) (1986–88) was acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art; 48 when Umarłeś (You Went and Died) (1987–88) was purchased by the Brooklyn Museum; 49 when Five Mountains (1989) entered the Walker Art Center collection in Minneapolis; and 65 when Wall Pocket (2003–04) was given by Agnes Gund to the Museum of Modern Art. In a sense, this stance of a career unfolding has propelled von Rydingsvard’s creativity and drive across a lifetime. It is a crafted position, carved into her process as deeply as the harsh, repetitive cuts that she makes in her four-by-four cedar beams. von Rydingsvard embraces this status: “I’ve always liked being called an emerging artist,” she said recently. “It gave me the greatest amount of hope and the greatest amount of possibility. I want to think of myself that way.”… see the entire article in the print version of April’s Sculpture magazine.