Untitled, 1990-91, Finnish granite, two blocks, each 100 x 120 x 120 cm

Ulrich Rückriem »Ulrich Rückriem«

Berlin, May 05, 2001 - July 28, 2001

Ulrich Rückriem, born in 1938 in Düsseldorf, is one of the most important contemporary sculptors. He developed his technical skills while copying and restoring gothic sculpture in the Cathedral of Cologne. He became thoroughly acquainted with the possibilities of stone as a material but also became convinced that the pure imitation of things would not satisfy his artistic ambition. In his works the artist uses different techniques of cutting stone. All sculptures are objects of extremely high formal tension. Rückriem reduces his works to simple and basic forms. With his sculptures he tries to convince the viewer to look more carefully, although at first sight there may be very little to see. The natural surface of the stone and the form given to it by the artist express a confrontation and a symbiosis between man and nature. The artist leaves his signature on the eternal and historical material of stone. The process of creation changes the history of the stone while preserving the totality of the object.

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Although Rückriem’s works display his personal artistic signature, the material and the processes by which the stone have been worked is apparent to the viewer and not obscured by subsequent handling. It seems as if the sculptures found their form in a very natural way. The close relation between art and nature is only made possible by respecting the object. Ulrich Rückriem newly defines the process of artistic creation: the stone becomes an artistic object only because of the artist’s work. Nevertheless Rückriem knows to leave and preserve the origin of his works. The radiating essence of the sculpture invites the viewer into a dialogue of silence.


Installation view

Untitled, 1991, Finnish granite, 118 x 130 x 125 cm

Installation view