Austin, Texas — The Contemporary Austin announces the acquisition of Luna, 2007, a large-scale urethane resin sculpture by German-born, US-based sculptor Ursula von Rydingsvard. Luna is the first work of art given to The Contemporary Austin for the museum’s Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park at Laguna Gloria. Named in honor of a founding grant made to the museum by the Edward and Betty Marcus Foundation in 2013, The Contemporary Austin’s Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park is dedicated to exhibiting innovative and ambitious sculptures and outdoor installations that respond to Laguna Gloria’s vibrant natural setting. The Contemporary Austin is delighted to acquire von Rydingsvard’s Luna for the sculpture park and to continue the museum’s commitment to transforming Laguna Gloria’s twelve-acre grounds into an unparalleled arts destination for Austin. Von Rydingsvard’s Luna was gifted to The Contemporary Austin by Morton and Estelle Sosland of Kansas City, Missouri, with the cooperation of Galerie Lelong in New York City.
“With the arrival of Luna—the first sculpture to be gifted to the Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park—it is clear that last year’s grant from the Marcus Foundation has placed us in a unique position to attract gifts and commissions by some of the most significant artists working today,” said Louis Grachos, Ernest and Sarah Butler Executive Director of The Contemporary Austin. “Following a very promising site visit from the artist last year, we hope that this gift will launch an ongoing relationship between Ursula and our space at Laguna Gloria. We greatly appreciate the foresight of Morton and Estelle Sosland and the assistance of Galerie Lelong in making this gift come to fruition.” Donor Morton Sosland added, “We are delighted that this sculpture we have enjoyed for so many years has found such a worthy home.”
Ursula von Rydingsvard has received critical acclaim for her monumental sculptures painstakingly cut and assembled from cedar beams. In her lighted, resin works, such as Luna, von Rydingsvard’s sculptures take on a geologic aspect, interacting with natural light in a manner similar to a gemstone. When visitors to the Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park encounter the sculpture, they may find this quality, in which light appears to be mysteriously emanating from within, evocative of something mythic and heavenly or reminiscent of ancient and restorative objects.
“Luna is made out of a very dense material, urethane resin, that I chose because it has the capacity of absorbing and reflecting sunlight,” Ursula von Rydingsvard noted. “A touch of color (like the color one sees in water, sky or clouds) was added to the resin. The sculpture was cast from a full-scale model that I made using cedar wood, thereby enabling me to have control over the resulting visuals of this piece."
Active since the late 1970s, von Rydingsvard is represented in the collections of major museums across the country, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Modern Art in New York and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. The artist was recently honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Sculpture Center and a comprehensive survey of her work is currently on view at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in the United Kingdom.
Luna has been installed in a central site, immediately inside the main entrance of the Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park at The Contemporary Austin – Laguna Gloria. “The location of Luna seems like an ideal one for greeting people as they arrive to the Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park,” the artist added. “At night, the sculpture will take advantage of the light coming through the resin wall from the inside, amplifying all the forming and scoring of its surfaces.”
THE CONTEMPORARY AUSTIN
The Contemporary Austin reflects the spectrum of contemporary art through exhibitions, commissions, education, and the collection. The museum has two distinct, yet complimentary locations, the Jones Center in downtown Austin at 700 Congress Avenue, and Laguna Gloria, a twelve-acre site on Lake Austin at 3809 W. 35th Street, which is home to the Driscoll Villa, the Art School, and the Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park at Laguna Gloria.
BETTY AND EDWARD MARCUS SCULPTURE PARK AT LAGUNA GLORIA
In 2013, The Contemporary Austin was awarded a $9 million grant by the Edward and Betty Marcus Foundation to help create an unparalleled arts destination at Laguna Gloria, with the a substantial portion of the funds committed to commissioning and acquiring sculpture and permanent outdoor installations by some of today’s leading artists.
Already well known for its historic significance, natural surroundings, and the Art School, Laguna Gloria now continues to grow into an exceptional art-in-nature experience with exhibitions, commissions, and vibrant community engagement through public programming and educational initiatives. In April 2014, after a year-long international search, the museum announced the selection of Reed Hilderbrand Landscape Architecture to design a new master plan for the Laguna Gloria site, encompassing the Art School, historic 1916 Driscoll Villa, and the new Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park. Local Austin collaborators including Urban Design Group and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center will ensure that this precious reserve of natural beauty in the heart of the city will become even more resilient, diverse, and welcoming for art and nature lovers alike.
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