(b. 1938, Düsseldorf, lives and works in Clonegal)

From 1957 until 1959 Ulrich Rückriem worked as an apprentice to a stone mason, he then spent the following two years working as a journeyman for the stonemason’s lodge at Cologne cathedral. After this experience Rückriem travelled extensively through southern Europe, Morocco and Tunisia, returning to Germany in 1963 to hold his first one-person exhibition.

Rückriem developed a practice that explored material and process as the subjects of his work. He concentrated on principles of form, in each case cutting a block of stone (of irregular or geometrical shape) into regular sections and then reassembling it. He insisted on geometric forms and rational and systematic concepts of structure, making noticeable all the traces of his treatment of materials in his final works. The transparency of his material interventions made him a proponent of process-based and minimalist practices, which moved beyond artistic expression and craftsmanship to involve industrial materials and allowed for works to be reproduced as multiples.

Kreise [Circles] (1971) come out of Rückriem’s work as a sculptor. Recorded with little editing or manipulation the video matches the artist’s task driven actions following the basic rules of sculpture: perform an activity on a three dimensional object.