BIOGRAPHY: ULRICH RUCKRIEM
Ulrich Rückriem was born in Düsseldorf (Germany) in 1938. He completed an apprenticeship as a stone mason in Düren from 1957 to 1959 and spent the following two years working as journeyman for the stonemason's lodge at Cologne cathedral. During these years he studied at the Cologne Werkschulen under Ludwig Gies.
In 1962 Rückriem travelled extensively through southern Europe, Morocco and Tunisia. After his return to Germany in 1963, he decided to become a sculptor and settled in Nörvenich near Düren, where he - one year later - had his first solo exhibition at the Leopold-Hoesch Museum. From then on Rückriem developed his working method. The material and the process of his art became the subject of his work. The sculptor moved to Mönchengladbach in 1969, where he shared a studio in an old factory with Blinky Palermo. His first exhibition with new stone sculptures took place in the same year at the Galerie Konrad Fischer in Düsseldorf.
Rückriem's work was much praised in the following years with important exhibitions, such as at the Haus Lange in Krefeld in 1970. Rückriem exhibited works at the documenta 5, 7, 8 and 9 in Kassel between 1972 and 1992 and at the Biennale di Venizia in 1978. He was a professor of sculpture at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Hamburg from 1974 to 1984. Ulrich Rückriem became professor of sculpture at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf in 1984 and then at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Frankfurt am Main in 1988.
Today, the artist lives in Ireland.