Ursula von Rydingsvard: Damski Czepek, Czara z Babelkami, Bowl with Fins, Ted’s Desert Reigns
Four major sculptures by Ursula von Rydingsvard, including the artist’s first translucent outdoor work, become a site of discovery across the lawns and planting beds in the park. In Damski Czepek, Von Rydingsvard, renowned for her use of cedar, pushes the potential for materiality with polyurethane resin, a new medium. The work began with an idea of an image “that has haunted [the artist] for a long time” but wasn’t suitable for cedar which she found too “heavy” and “absorptive” of light. The concept for Damski Czepek begins with the memory of a childhood bonnet which the sculptor transforms into a resonant form. She initially sculpted the 14-foot-tall piece in her Williamsburg, Brooklyn studio before it was disassembled and shipped to the Walla Walla Foundry in Washington State. The bonnet’s “ribbons” provide seating for parkgoers. Czara z Babelkami (2006), Ted’s Desert Reigns (2006) and Bowl with Fins (2004), all in cedar, complement Damski Czepek. These works recombine key motifs, the vessel and bowl, in the artist’s vocabulary. Von Rydingsvard’s sculpture, crafted of burning strength and urgency, makes parkgoers look closely at the possibilities that occupy an artist whose command of cedar, bronze, and resin derives from her hand and intellect.