May 23, 2018
Hair. Silk. Cotton. Yarn. Lace. Wool. Pulp, and…cow intestines.
These are materials used in a number of untitled works of art by Ursula von Rydingsvard, the German-born artist whose work is now on display in two locations in town and will be throughout the summer.
About 10 years ago, von Rydingsvard was carving massive pieces of cedar for a project, and somewhere along her journey, she said to herself, “I wanted to make something disgusting.”
That’s when she decided to use cow intestines. Von Rydingsvard handled the intestines while wet, sewed them together, let them dry and tied them together using cotton string. That's how "stacked blankets" came to fruition.
“You can always do something you’ve never done before and surprise yourself. This is not disgusting. This does not disgust me.”
Ursula von Rydingsvard: The Contour of Feeling is a curated exhibit on display now through the end of August at The Fabric Workshop and Museum in Chinatown. It showcases roughly 20 works – mostly large-scale – and many of which have never before been seen in the U.S.
Curated by Mark Rosenthal, the exhibition’s title is taken from von Rydingsvard’s favorite poet, Rainer Maria Rilke:
We don’t know the contour of feeling; we only know what molds it from without.
A master of large-scale wooden sculpture and oversized, monumental-type works of art, von Rydingsvard is known for pieces that are complex and enigmatic. Her collections and exhibitions appear all over the world, from her hometown of Brooklyn, N.Y. to Venice, Italy.
“The contour of feeling. I love this expression because Ursula is all about feeling – and – how does the artist’s feeling get manifested into art?” said Rosenthal.
Some notable pieces on display now at the Fabric Workshop and Museum are von Rydingsvard’s “Droga,” a 54x115x219-in. cedar and graphite piece;
See Ursula von Rydingsvard: The Contour of Feeling now through Aug. 26 at The Fabric Workshop and Museum in Chinatown.