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UW Art Museum Installs Large-scale Sculpture on the Terrace

LARAMIE.- The University of Wyoming Art Museum is mounting a major exhibition of large-scale sculpture this summer. "Sculpture: A Wyoming Invitational" will be on view at the Art Museum, on Prexy's Pasture, and in the city of Laramie.

"Doolin Doolin" by New York artist Ursula von Rydingsvard is being installed on the museum's Terrace through May 17. The centerpiece for von Rydingsvard's 1997 solo New York exhibition at Galerie Lelong, it is unique among von Rydingsvard's work, created from carved and constructed 2 x 4-inch cedar beams rather than her more commonly used 4 x 4-inch beams. Wyoming artist Neltje loaned the sculpture to UW.

"Von Rydingsvard's wood sculptures resonate with a sense of history and human presence. Although abstract, their shapes and surfaces suggest the human figure, landscape elements, household utensils, and farm implements," according to a review. Von Rydingsvard's work is partially influenced by memories of the German work and refugee camps where she spent the early years of her life before emigrating to the United States. It is also influenced by the countryside and tools familiar to her Polish farming family.

Sculpting mainly with cedar since the mid-1970s, von Rydingsvard has developed a hybrid technique that involves both constructing and carving.

She uses a methodical process involving the layering and removal of material. "Doolin Doolin" references the artist's mother who scribbled "doolin" repeatedly in her later years; it became the footprint for the sculpture.

Von Rydingsvard's work has been exhibited widely in Europe and the United States, including the Whitney Museum of American Art; the CAPP Street Project, San Francisco; the Denver Art Museum; and the Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, Poland. Her sculpture is included in major public collections such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Brooklyn Museum, and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Her outdoor work has been installed at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden; the Storm King Art Center, Mountainville, N.Y.; and the Laumeier Sculpture Park in Saint Louis, among other sites. She had a solo exhibition at the UW Art Museum in 1995.

"Sculpture: A Wyoming Invitational" will be installed between May and July and will be on view from Aug. 1 through July 31, 2009.

"In the coming months, we will offer extraordinary educational opportunities for students of all ages to learn about the artists, their creative process, and the behind-the-scenes view of how these large-scale works are created and placed," says Art Museum Director Susan Moldenhauer.

The exhibition has been organized by the UW Art Museum in cooperation with the various agencies in the city of Laramie, and the Albany County Public Library. It is sponsored by an anonymous donor with additional support from the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation, the Guthrie Family Foundation, FMC Corporation, First Interstate Bank of Laramie, First Interstate Bancsystems Foundation, the UW President's Office, UW Office of Academic Affairs, UW Physical Plant, Laramie Park & Recreation, Laramie Economic Development Corporation, Main Street Laramie, Albany County Tourism Board, American National Bank, the Friends of Undine Park, Wyoming Public Radio, and the National Advisory Board of the UW Art Museum.

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