Ursula von Rydingsvard: Into Her Own
MAD | Music/Art/Design
Imagine growing up in a Soho loft in the late 1970s and falling asleep to the sounds of your mother wielding a chainsaw in the next room. This was Ursie von Rydingsvard’s childhood. The daughter of Polish-American sculptor Ursula von Rydingsvard, Ursie and her mother hardly lived a romantic existence in New York. Instead, they scrimped and struggled the way many first-generation immigrant families do. The only difference? That Ursula was determined, no matter what it took, to become the artist she had always felt called to be.
This compelling documentary portrait is a quiet ode to a woman whose approach to form and material are unmatched in the art world. Working primarily in cedar, von Rydingsvard creates monumental sculptures that play with texture and shape in ways that evoke surprising emotion. Born in Germany to Ukrainian-Polish parents, von Rydingsvard’s family was detained for five years in a post-WWII refugee camp before moving to America. The pain and trauma of this experience, coupled with the anger born from an abusive childhood, left indelible marks on Ursula. But her ability to channel this into her work and practice undoubtedly birthed an artist of singular determination and talent.