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.
5 hours 46 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago This bronze by Daniel Chester French is a reduced version of the full-size statue in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., which French worked on with the architect Henry Bacon. The Lincoln Memorial has remained a cherished destination at the National Mall since its dedication in 1922.
Find French's historic depiction of Lincoln in our galleries of American art.
2 days 7 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago NOW OPEN—Abstract Experiments: Latin American Art on Paper after 1950
During the mid-20th century, Latin American artists were active in the evolving international discourse on modernity, at a time of industrial expansion and political transformation in South America.
Abstract Experiments provides an illuminating complement to Hélio Oiticica: To Organize Delirium and reflects the Art Institute’s recent efforts to expand its holdings of Latin American painting, sculpture, and works on paper.
3 days 1 hour ago The Art Institute of Chicago NOW OPEN—Hélio Oiticica: To Organize Delirium
The Art Institute presents the first U.S. retrospective of this groundbreaking Brazilian artist. A relentless innovator always pushing the boundaries of art, Oiticica is arguably the most influential Latin American artist of the post–World War II period and is recognized for inspiring Tropicália, a powerful movement that influenced art across media in Brazil.
In addition to viewing his early works on paper, visitors are invited to take off their shoes and walk through immersive sand-filled installations, view Amazonian parrots, and try on wearable objects designed by the artist.