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"Weeping Plates"Ursula von Rydingsvard

November 13, 2008

Ursula von Rydingsvard has worked with red cedar for over thirty years. Soft and fragrant, the cedar beams cut, assembled, and glued by the artist can, at times, resemble fabric more than it resembles wood.

Her use of monumental scale and organic form is exemplified through her 2005 sculpture, Weeping Plates, of which the artist says, “I feel this is to be one of the most vulnerable pieces that I have made.” The artist’s puzzle-like surfaces tend to visually reference other man-made tools that seem to echo the artist’s family heritage in pre-industrial Poland, before the second World War.

More information and credits


Producer: Susan Sollins & Nick Ravich. Camera: Joel Shapiro. Sound: Mark Mandler & Roger Phenix. Editor: Steven Wechsler. Artwork courtesy: Ursula von Rydingsvard.

Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

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Ursula von Rydingsvard

Ursula von Rydingsvard’s massive sculptures reveal the trace of the human hand and resemble wooden bowls, tools, and walls that seem to echo the artist’s family heritage in pre-industrial Poland before World War II. She builds towering cedar structures, creating an intricate network of individual beams and sensuous, puzzle-like surfaces. While abstract at its core, von Rydingsvard’s work takes visual cues from the landscape, the human body, and utilitarian objects—such as the artist’s collection of household vessels—and demonstrates an interest in the point where the man-made meets nature.

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El Anatsui

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Ursula von Rydingsvard

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Ursula von Rydingsvard

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Ursula von Rydingsvard