Ulrich Ruckriem

Brooke Alexander

Ulrich Rückriem’s austere, abstract sculptures have seldom been shown or written about in the United States. His recent exhibition coincides with a renewed interest in contemporary abstract art that makes use of Minimalist and post-Minimalist precedents. Rückriem began his career as a stonemason and worked on the restoration of Cologne Cathedral. In 1962, he began working as a sculptor and made mostly figurative work. In the late ’60s, after seeing the work of Carl Andre, Richard Serra, and others, he reevaluated his approach to sculpture, and developed a conceptual program that enabled him to use the basic stonemason’s tools to investigate and distill the essential properties of quarried stone. Rückriem uses chisels, saws, drills, and grinders to “draw” in and on the stone. The “drawing” sets in motion a dialectic between the worked and unworked surface, surface and interior, and the

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