new-york

Ursula von Rydingsvard

Galerie Lelong & Co., New York

The crumbly, blackened edges of Ursula von Rydingsvard’s often monumental cedar sculptures suggest they may be composed of half-burned logs, but in fact they are hacked and chiseled wood rubbed with graphite. It is the sculptor, not fire, that has effected the transformation. Von Rydingsvard’s relation to her materials is subtle and complex, as sustained examination of any of her pieces soon reveals. Most are abstract, and all rely on the curious sculptural technique of chiseling down and reconstructing the wood. Some of the pieces reveal a conceptual engagement: at least one of the works in this recent show, the huge Doolin, Doolin 1995–97, is based on “letters written on the ground and built up until the actual word is effaced,” according to the press release to the show.

The sculptures in this show seemed even more massive than is usually the case in von Rydingsvard’s work: Doolin, Doolin

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