The inaugural art exhibition in Denver Botanic Gardens’ new Freyer – Newman Center is Ursula von Rydingsvard: The Contour of Feeling. The Contour of Feeling is the artist’s first solo exhibition in Denver. Von Rydingsvard is renowned for her towering cedar and bronze public outdoor sculptures; this exhibition provides a unique, indoor opportunity to experience a large collection of cedar sculptures and works on paper.
Ursula von Rydingsvard: The Contour of Feeling is organized by The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia and guest curator Mark Rosenthal, former curator at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Ursula von Rydingsvard was born in 1942 in Deensen, Germany. The daughter of a woodcutter from a long line of peasant farmers, she spent her early years in the wooden barracks of refugee camps at the end of World War II. While the artist resists straightforward biographical readings of her works, she speaks of those critical years of her youth as woven into her subconscious or instinct, which in turn leaves an imprint on her art. She often uses variations of Polish words for titles, which she prefers to leave untranslated to preserve the enigmatic nature of her work. Her work is part of more than 30 museum collections, including: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, NY; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO; Storm King Art Center, New Windsor, NY; and the Detroit Institute of Arts, MI. She has received honors including a Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in the Arts from the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the 2019 Artist Award for Distinguished Body of Work from the College Art Association, the Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture, the Guggenheim Fellowship, three awards from the American section of the International Association of Art Critics, the International Sculpture Center Lifetime Achievement Award, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The artist lives in New York City and works in Brooklyn.