Art21 Extended Play

Ursula von Rydingsvard | “Becoming an Artist”


Production still from the "Art in the Twenty-First Century" Season 4 episode, "Ecology," 2007. Segment: Ursula von Rydingsvard © Art21, Inc. 2007.

Our latest, web-only Exclusive video is now live on click here to watch Ursula von Rydingsvard on “Becoming an Artist.”

Filmed at her Brooklyn studio, artist Ursula von Rydingsvard recounts her family’s journey from German refugee camps during WWII to their difficult early years in Connecticut. Accompanied by images from her personal archive, von Rydingsvard describes how her family’s struggles still influence her studio practice today.

Ursula von Rydingsvard builds towering cedar structures, creating an intricate network of individual beams and sensuous, puzzle-like surfaces. While abstract at its core, von Rydingsvard’s work takes visual cues from the landscape, the human body, and utilitarian objects–such as the artist’s collection of household vessels–and demonstrates an interest in the point where the human-made object meets nature.

Ursula von Rydingsvard is featured in the Season 4 (2007) episode Ecology of the Art in the Twenty-First Century television series on PBS. Watch full episodes online for free via PBS Video or Hulu, as a paid download via iTunes (link opens application), or as part of a Netflix streaming subscription.

Learn more about Ursula von Rydingsvard.

CREDITS | Producer: Ian Forster, Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: Susan Sollins. Camera: Joel Shapiro. Sound: Mark Mandler & Roger Phenix. Editor: Morgan Riles. Archival Photography Courtesy: Ursula von Rydingsvard & Marbeth. Special Thanks: Andria Morales. Video: © 2012 Art21, Inc. All rights reserved.