NEW PALTZ -- Distinguished artist Ursula von Rydingsvard will give a presentation about her evocative sculptures on Wednesday, February 21 at 7:30 p.m. at the State University of New York at New Paltz in Lecture Center 102. She is the guest of the Student Art Alliance. This event is free and open to all.
Ursula von Rydingsvard's works hold an ambiguous identity between man-made and natural forms, shifting in appearance between animal, vegetable, mineral, and geometric form. Using chisels and circular saws, she meticulously carves, cuts and layers raw cedar, creating expressive marks that make subtle abstract references to larger than life human figures, landscapes, and various domestic objects. Like a non-verbal journal, the suggestive forms of ordinary household items such as bowls and farm tools recur as icons in von Rydingsvard's work, speaking of her childhood memories of growing up in Germany during World War II and spending time in a refugee camp.
Ursula von Rydingsvard was born in 1942 in Deensen, Germany to parents of Polish descent. After spending eight years of her life in refugee camps for displaced persons after World War II, her family immigrated to the United States settling in Connecticut. In 1973, she moved to New York City to pursue graduate studies at Columbia University and shortly thereafter began working with cedar beams after discovering the ease of mark making onto the soft wood, as well as its great outdoor durability. Von Rydingsvard has exhibited extensively throughout the United States including the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Storm King Art Center, the Nelson Atkins Museum, among many others.
About the Student Art Alliance
The Student Art Alliance Lecture Series was initiated and formalized in 1996. In the past decade, nearly 200 artists, designers, and critics have presented public lectures on their work or current issues in contemporary culture. Guests have included Vito Acconci, Martin Puryear, Michael Brenson, Mel Chin, Sharon Church, Melvin Edwards, Oliver Herring, Zoe Leonard, Tim Rollins + K.O.S., Fazal Sheikh, May Stevens, Anne Wilson, Marco Maggi, Josiah McElheney, Brett Cook Dizney, Jim Jarmusch, Judy Pfaff, and many others.
Among its projects, the Student Art Alliance maintains a Student Art Gallery, offers workshops and fieldtrips, and produces a biennial art auction that funds scholarships for current students. The organization is run entirely by students. It is a funded member of the SUNY New Paltz Student Association.