SILICON VALLEY -- To some people, the name URSULA Von RYDINGSVARD is unfamiliar. Other people, however, recognize her name, because they have seen her art, but her art is only one way URSULA uses to expresses herself.
Nobody can get to know URSULA Von RYDINGSVARD just by looking at her monumental sculptures displayed in museums and on the streets of different cities included Stanford and San Francisco. Her life, like her work is too complex. but we may be able to understand her better, if we learn something about her private life, and how, along with her monumental sculptures, he manage to build in herself a monumental spirit which gave her the fortitude she needed to grow up in poverty in a German Display Persons camp during the war, survived as a single mother in New York City, was awarded the GUGGENHEIM FELLOWSHIP FOR CREATIVE ARTS in U.S. and CANADA, Graduated from Columbia University and the University of Miami, became a teacher, and is now recognized as a world's famous sculptor, in spite of constantly being reminded by her father that she was lazy, stupid and worthless.
URSULA reveals us her life in URSULA Von RYDINGSVARD: INTO HER OWN, an online feature documentary film by DANIEL TRAUB-- a New York-based filmmaker and photographer of documentary films--and as she does, URSULA's question of: "How am I going to deal with this? " seems to be the premise of her documentary.
URSULA was born in Deensen Germany in l947, one of seven children of an Ukranian father and a Polish mother. who during the war, were forced to work for the Nazis as peasants and live in a DISPLAY PEOPLE CAMP (D.P. CAMP) where families lived in large buildings, made completely out of wood and without isolation. While talking about the camp,in the documentary, she describes that all the people living in the camp, including the Germans and the children, looked undernourished and sad. After the war was over, her family came to the United States ( l950). Her father, who was very strong worked two jobs. Her mother worked baking pies .
Also in her documentary, she reveals that as a child she was full of anger, but when she went to school and was in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades her teachers discovered she could draw and she started painting, and to her surprise, her involvement with art, helped control her anger.
As an adult, URSULA continued using art to control her anger, but changed media. Instead of using paint and paper, she began using four by four pieces of cedar wood, marking them and then cutting them into different shapes and sizes and placing them one on top of the other to built tall pillars, that when placed next to each other to build the massive wood sculptures that she does not relate with, but considers "dramatic."
The artist has also worked with sheets of copper, that she shaped and cut, and using fire and acid, burned to give a different coloration to each sheet and a different feeling when touched, Because URSULA declares that she likes her sculptures to be touched by people.
URSULA's sculptures are diverse in size and shape: A row of them standing next to each other, may resemble a line of seagulls flapping their wings. Other looks like Mesoamerican Idol, a group of them together as a group of men marching.
We can speculate that each piece of cedar wood (her favorite wood) represents a memory, stored in the artist's mind, and that when a memory was recovered, the artist placed, one on top of the other, to create tall columns to give her a fiscal view of her spiritual growing. Or we could imagine that each massive sculpture represent a massive change, created by destiny, in the artist's life, and that URSULA recreated each one of these events with an sculpture, to remind herself that as the sculptor of the sculpture she can change everything on it, because she has the complete control.
We suggest that instead of trying to discern what each one of URSULA's sculptures represent, we just accept them as a work of art. And we must remember that they are featured as works of art in in the Venice Biennale, and inside some of the world's great museums, including New York's Museum of Modern Art, the Art institute of Chicago, the San Francisco Museum of Modern art and in Brooklyn, New York, where URSULA had lived for 30 years
At the end, we need to remember that there much more for us to learn about URSULA 's art and how we too can learn to transform our pain into something creative l in URSULA VON RYDINGSVARD: INTO HER OWN, her life's story. The documentary will open virtually in different theaters in different cities starting on June 5th and could be watched in the privacy of your own homes Via streaming. For the list of virtual theatrical openings updated daily: please go to https://icarusfilms.com/playdates.html