‘It is my great pleasure to be able to award the highest medal for creative achievements to an outstanding artist who impresses with her original artistic oeuvre and her attachment to Polish roots. I am honoured to give you this medal as an expression of recognition of your contribution to the development of contemporary sculpture, both in the USA and the world’, said Prof Piotr Gliński, Minister of Culture, National Heritage and Sport, during the celebration of awarding Gold Medal For Merit to Polish Culture ‘Gloria Artis’ to Ursula von Rydingsvard, outstanding sculptor of Polish origin.
The Deputy Prime Minister emphasized that the celebration of awarding the medal is held the day before the long-awaited exhibition of the artist’s works at the Centre of Polish Sculpture in Orońsko (since 4 September), at the Royal Łazienki Museum in Warsaw (since 5 October) and at the National Museum in Krakow (since 6 November). He remarked that it is von Rydingsvard’s second exhibition in Poland after one presented in 1992 at the Centre for Contemporary Art – Ujazdowski Castle.
Ursula von Rydingsvard comes from a Polish-Ukrainian family who were deported to do forced labour in Germany, and then emigrated to the USA.
‘Since my childhood I was surrounded by Poles. Our wandering lasted for five years, during which time we went through nine camps for Polish refugees. Thanks to their strength and struggles for their own life and lives of their children, my parents managed to arrive in the USA in 1950. Despite my life in the States, this Polishness has always stayed with me and I can feel it all the time. Poles have a different spirit than Americans. This spirit is also in me, and is inherent in my works’, Ursula von Rydingsvard confessed while receiving the medal.
Foto: Danuta Matloch/MKDNiS