Ursula von Rydingsvard: Heart in Hand

Heart in Hand relates to an earlier, larger work called Luba that was made in cedar and bronze, and is on permanent display at Storm King Art Center in upstate New York. Both works are intended to suggest a sense of protection and nurturing, like the arm of a mother cradling a baby. However, ambiguity is central to von Rydingsvard’s work and her forms are very open and evocative, relating to the body but equally to the natural, organic environment.

As with all of von Rydingsvard’s bronzes, Heart in Hand began life as a full-size cedar model, made to be cast, and the regular end sections of the milled cedar beams can be seen across the surface of the work. Both the wood’s grain and the incisions into it, that the she made with circular saws, can be clearly felt in the bronze. The artist has applied a rich patina to the surface, giving it earthy hues of greens, russets and browns giving the sense that it has been weathered by the elements over years.