Ursula von Rydingsvard was born in Deensen, Germany, in 1942. During World War II her family, of Polish-Ukrainian origins, was enslaved and forced to work on farms. When the artist was nine years old, her family emigrated to the United States where she has continued to live. The artist is known internationally for the imposing sculptures she creates with cedar wood. Her past, marked by the continual wandering from one refugee camp to another, is relived through the choice of wood and manual labor. Each time the artist selects, cuts, shapes, and finishes the surface of the wood, she again evokes her difficult childhood: the artisanal process, linked to the real world, becomes a vehicle for her introspective, evocative, and highly personal art. Her works have been exhibited in important museums around the world, including many in New York such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the MoMA, and the Brooklyn Museum. The artist reached a high point in her career in 1997 when Microsoft commissioned her to create Skip to My Lou, a sculpture for the company’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington. In 2006, an outdoor installation was exhibited in Madison Square Park. At this time, the artist continues to work in New York, specifically in the dynamic Brooklyn neighborhood where her studio is located.