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Ursula von Rydingsvard: Into Her Own
(Ursula von Rydingsvard: Into Her Own) Von Rydingsvard and assistants preparing to work on Ene Due Rabe, San Francisco, 1990.

Following the exclusive virtual premiere at New York City’s Film Forum on Friday, May 29, 2020, the documentary Ursula von Rydingsvard: Into Her Own directed by Daniel Traub will open in major cities nationwide on Friday, June 5, 2020.

Ursula von Rydingsvard: Into Her Own is an artistic biography of one of the few women in the world working in monumental sculpture. Von Rydingsvard’s work has been featured in the Venice Biennale and is held in the collections of some of the world’s great museums, including New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. But she may be best-known for her staggering, triumphant body of work in public spaces – imposing pieces painstakingly crafted with complex surfaces including: a series of early installations reminiscent of wings in what became New York’s Battery Park; a monumental yet inviting piece outside Brooklyn’s Barclays Center and the stunning “Scientia” at M.I.T. which evokes the power of nature and the firing of brain synapses.

In Daniel Traub’s intimate documentary, we go behind the scenes with von Rydingsvard, as she and her collaborators – cutters, metal-smiths, and others – produce new work, including challenging commissions in copper and bronze. The film also delves into the artist’s personal life, and how it has shaped her work. Born in Poland during the Second World War, she was partly raised in a displaced persons camp and came to the US as a refugee with her nine-person family. Brought up in a blue-collar environment, she became a teacher and then, as a single mother, moved to New York in the 1970s to take up her artistic practice full-time.

Interviews with curators, patrons, family, fellow artists (including luminaries such as artist Sarah Sze and museum director Adam Weinberg), as well as the artist herself, are intertwined with studio visits and behind-the-scenes footage of her mammoth creations being installed. All combine to show how, through sheer talent and determination (and countless planks of cedar), she has become one of the world’s greatest artists (and one of a very few women) working in monumental sculpture.

Daniel Traub is a New York-based filmmaker and photographer. He lived in China from 1998 to 2007, working as cinematographer on documentary films for various networks and production companies, including PBS, German television ZDF and Arte. More recently, Traub directed the feature-length Barefoot Artist about Lily Yeh and her collaborative artworks in war-torn communities and Xu Bing: Phoenix about the condition of Chinese migrant laborers.

Traub’s photographs have been exhibited internationally, including solo exhibitions at the Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago, Slought Foundation in Philadelphia and the Lianzhou Foto Festival in China. His work can be found in public and private collections, such as The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.


Full city list of virtual theatrical openings, updated daily

JUNE 5, 2020
Berkeley (Pacific Film Archive with Q and A), Los Angeles (Laemmle Theaters), San Francisco (Roxie Theater), San Rafael (Rafael Film Center), Chicago (Gene Siskel Film Center with Q and A), Detroit (Detroit Institute Of Arts), Philadelphia (Lightbox Film Center with Q and A), Camas (Liberty Theater), Port Townsend (Rose Theater) and more.

JUNE 12, 2020
Kansas City (Nelson Atkins Museum), Hudson, NY (Time and Space Limited).

JUNE 17, 2020
Houston (MFA Houston).

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