Ulrich Rückriem

Year of birth, place
1938, Düsseldorf, Germany
Role at the ZKM
in the collection
Ulrich Rückriem was born in Düsseldorf in 1938. From 1957 to 1959 he trained as a stonemason in Düren and from 1959 to 1961 he worked as an apprentice at Cologne Cathedral. During this period he also spent two semesters studying at the Werkschulen, Cologne under Ludwig Gries. Rückriem started his artistic career in 1968. From 1974 he taught at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Hamburg and from 1984 to 1988 at the Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf. Since 1988 he has been a professor at the Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste (Städelschule), Frankfurt am Main. He lives in Frankfurt am Main, Clonegal and Agon.

As a sculptor, Rückriem emphasizes the distinctive physical quality of each of his materials in his work. His preferred materials have been heavy-duty steel, wood, and since 1976 almost exclusively stone. In every case the specific, haptic qualities of the material play a great part in determining the character of the resulting work of art. Rückriem reduces to a minimum the degree of his artistic interventions into the material qualities of the stone he uses. Typically, Rückriem will break a block of stone into an approximation of the desired shape, then divide it into small sections, and then re-assemble it so that it regains its original overall form. The traces of the work required during each phase of this essentially simple process - bore holes and fracture lines remain visible. Rückriem's preference for working with material in its rough state bestows on his sculptures the character of monoliths. 

Individual exhibitions (selection)
1964 Domgalerie, Cologne
1969 Galerie Konrad Fischer, Düsseldorf
1970 »Steine und Eisen«, Museum Haus Lange, Krefeld
1983 Musée National d'Art Modeme, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris
1987 Städtisches Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach
1991 Kunstmuseum, Winterthur
1993 Kirkstall Abbey, The Henry Moore Sculpture Trust, Leeds
1994 Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Ägyptisches Museum, Berlin
1995 Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich
1996 Galerie Durand-Dessert, Paris
1997 Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; »Ulrich Rückriem. Themen und Variationen 1997«, Kulturzentrum, Sinsteden
Group exhibitions (selection)
1964 »Deutsche Kunst im 20. Jahrhundert«, Suermondt-Museum, Aachen
1972 documenta V, Kassel
1977 »Skulptur. Ausstellung in Münster 1977«, Münster
1978 Biennale di Venezia, Venice
1981 »Westkunst«, Museums of the City of Cologne
1982 documenta VII, Kassel
1984 »von hier aus«, Messegelände, Düsseldorf
1987 documenta VIII, Kassel; »Skulptur. Projekte in Münster 1987«, Münster
1989 »Einleuchten«, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg
1990 Donald Young Gallery, Chicago
1992 documenta IX, Kassel; »Sammlung Grothe«, Kunstmuseum Bonn
1994 »Zimmer, in denen die Zeit nicht zählt, Sammlung Udo und Annette Brandhorst«, Öffentliche Kunstsammlung Basel, Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basle
1995 »Künstler aus der Sammlung des Bundes«, Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn
1996 »Skulpturen«, Galerie Hauser & Wirth, Zürich
1997 »Skulptur. Projekte in Münster 1997«, Münster

[David Richardt, 1997]