Sunday, September 16, 2007

Ursula von Rydingsvald, Presenting at PAM

I attended the Ursula von Rydingsvald presentation of her work at the PAM this afternoon. I think that without exception the pieces she showed as slides, and there were many, were superior to the kinetic sculpture upstairs at the PAM. This sculpture is only one of two moving pieces she has done. Perhaps kinetic sculpture doesn't really work with her art. It's as if you went to Arches National Park in Utah, and one of the beautiful arches somehow had been made to bounce up and down. The motion is just not necessary to the effect.

Von Rydingsvald's sculptures are beautiful the way that large rock formations are beautiful. (See the entablature jointing at Latourell falls and elsewhere in the Columbia river gorge.) I wouldn't try to think too much about what they mean. I don't think she does. She has simply arrived at a very successful process, that seems to require less design effort than organization and execution. It's as though she's sped up nature's process of erosion or created in cedar the look of columnar jointing produced when lava cools and contracts.

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