DFT @ Home | Into Her Own: Ursula Von Rydingsvard

USA/2019—directed by Daniel Traub)

In Into Her Own filmmaker Daniel Traub illuminates the fascinating journey of sculptor Ursula von Rydingsvard (b. 1942) – her difficult early life in a family of nine emigrating to the US after five years in post-WWII German Displaced Persons camps, a traumatic first marriage, her arrival in 1970s New York to establish herself as an artist, and the staggering, triumphant body of work she subsequently produced. The sculptures are massive, yet strangely intimate.

Some of her creations feel imbued with a primal energy: a series of early installations reminiscent of wings in what became New York’s Battery Park; a monumental piece outside Brooklyn’s Barclays Center; the stunning “Scientia” at M.I.T. which evokes the power of nature and the firing of brain synapses. Interviews with artists and curators, as well as the artist herself are intertwined with behind-the-scenes footage of her mammoth creations being constructed and installed. It all combines to show how, through sheer talent and determination (and countless planks of cedar), she has become one of the world’s most extraordinary artists. 

“Bowl With Folds,” von Rydingsvard’s astounding 1999 work, a gift to the DIA from Janis B. and William M. Wetsman, can be seen outdoors across from the museum on the grounds of the College for Creative Studies.


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