The German sculptor Ulrich Rückriem was born in Düsseldorf on September 30, 1938. From 1957 to 1959 he does an apprenticeship as a stonemason in Düren, and is assistant at the Cologne Dombauhütte in 1960-61. During this period he studies at the Cologne College of Art for two semesters under Ludwig Gies. As of 1961 he works as a free sculptor. In 1962 he travels through Southern Europe, Morocco and Tunisia. After having returned he lives in Nörvenich near Düren. His first one-man show takes place in the Leopold-Hoesch Museum in Düren in 1964.
Ulrich Rückriem's early works are open constructions of forms made of steel and wood. As of the mid 1960s he begins to use stone. In 1968 Ulrich Rückriem develops the method of separating and reassembling basic forms, alternating rough and smooth surfaces that reveal the work process as such, a method that is an integral part of his work. His stone sculptures are on exhibition at the gallery Konrad Fischer in Düsseldorf for the first time in 1969.
Ulrich Rückriem moves to Mönchengladbach the same year where he shares a studio with Blinky Palermo. He participates in numerous exhibitions. The great appreciation of Rückriem's work and the fact that he is regarded as one of the most important German sculptors of the post-war era is also demonstrated by his participation in the documenta exhibitions 5, 7, 8 and 9.
In 1974 Ulrich Rückriem is appointed professor at the Hamburg School of Fine Arts, a post he holds until 1984. Afterwards he teaches at the Düsseldorf Academy from 1984 to 1988, and as of 1988 at the Städel-Schule in Frankfurt am Main.
Ulrich Rückriem lives and works in Cologne in Germany.
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