At nearly 20 feet tall, Bronze Bowl with Lace by Ursula von Rydingsvard is a towering form that is as commanding as it is delicate. The undulating bronze surface recalls the cedar from which it was cast, while the color of the patina varies subtly, playing off the change of light in the open air. Perhaps most striking is the intricate lace at the top, whose elaborate pattern is illuminated from within by a special lighting system, an effect that is particularly dazzling in so massive a form.
The internationally renowned von Rydingsvard was born in Deensen, Germany, to parents of Polish and Ukrainian origins who immigrated to the United States following World War II. For close to 40 years, the artist has worked in Brooklyn, making large and impressive sculptures from cedar, an exceedingly porous and pliable wood sympathetic to the complex textural surfaces that define the artist’s work—surfaces that may, as the artist put it, feel like “fabric in the wind.” She begins with simple lines scrawled on the studio floor and from there works intuitively, experimenting with form and making changes when needed. The process is arduous: wood is cut, the pieces are stacked and screwed into place, and, once built, the entire sculpture is reverse stacked and laminated in sections. First constructed in cedar, the majority of Bronze Bowl was then sand cast in bronze. The uppermost lace portion was cast using the lost-wax method. The lace pattern was traced onto wax molds and cut out by hand; when the wax melted during the casting process, an elaborate web was left behind. Finally, a patina was applied, bringing the surface to life.
Bronze Bowl with Lace, the artist’s most ambitious sculpture, is also her first to be displayed at the Art Institute. This work, monumental in both detail and scale, demands to be experienced from both near and far. Fortunately, its installation outdoors, rising from the Bluhm Family Terrace, makes this possible.
Sponsors This exhibition is organized by the Art Institute of Chicago with major funding from the Bluhm Family Endowment Fund, which supports exhibitions of modern and contemporary sculpture.
Special thanks are due to the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.
1 day 21 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago "Real painters understand with a brush in their hand."
Happy birthday to the trailblazing artist Berthe Morisot, a core member of the Impressionists and the only woman to be exhibited in seven of the eight Impressionist group exhibitions between 1874 and 1886.
See two paintings by Berthe Morisot, now on view in Gallery 201.
Image: Berthe Morisot. Woman at Her Toilette, 1875/80. Stickney Fund.
2 days 14 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago John Singer Sargent’s portraits have captivated audiences for over a century. ARTicle takes a closer look at his work, on the week of the American Impressionist’s birthday.
2 days 16 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago FEBRUARY 24—After Dark: Xtra Loud featuring "Hélio Oiticica—To Organize Delirium"
Join us for a special edition of After Dark in the Modern Wing! Dive deep into 1960s Brazil with a performance from legendary psychedelic pop group Os Mutantes. And enjoy special tours of the exhibition Hélio Oiticica: To Organize Delirium, a conversation with Os Mutantes leader Sérgio Dias and the hosts of Sound Opinions, plus a Tropicália-inspired DJ set by recess.
Hosted by The Evening Associates of the Art Institute of Chicago.