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.
2 hours 51 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago “Painting depends on ink, ink depends on brush, brush depends on wrist, and wrist depends on the heart and mind.” —Tao Chi
The Inspired Chinese Brush is an installation of traditional Chinese ink paintings showcasing the rich variety of textural effects that could be achieved through careful control of the combination of ink and brushes used in their creation. Tang Yin’s painting Drinking at Night portrays the prominent 11th–century Chinese poet, calligrapher, and governmental official Su Shi drinking alone in a pavilion on a moonlit night. The work gets its name from Su Shi’s poem “Drinking on an Evening in Spring,” which is quoted on the scroll following the painting.
See this painting and the rest of the exhibition on view now in Gallery 134.
19 hours 12 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago The Museum Shop’s new fall collection has arrived online! Spend $75 or more by August 31 and receive free standard shipping on your order. Enter promo code FALL75 at checkout.
22 hours 43 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago Yesomi Umolu, exhibitions curator at Logan Center Exhibitions, will be taking over our Instagram feed tomorrow.
Follow along to learn more about Yesomi’s work and see art from our collection that inspires her.