From the Gallery:
“Fire is something I rely on, don’t fully understand, but must of necessity continue to deploy.”
The works in The Charred Room are the evidence of devastated domestic landscape rendered in a dream-like familiarity. Ruhwald presents us with softened ceramics that explore the duplicitous relationship humanity has with fire – a force both formative and formidable. Forged by flame, Ruhwald’s works take shape. Slumped, melted and morphed the objects lose their direct references that create comfort; leaving the viewer with renderings of domestic detritus vaguely familiar.
Exploring the aftermath of a fire – objects as they should be, recognizable to an extent in shape and position in relation to one another – but charred. “Whereas fire normally sweeps through a house unpredictably, destroying some parts and leaving others mostly untouched, every surface has been subjected to an equal incendiary ‘dosage’ thus establishing an unnatural scenario”.
The Charred Room is a single room, a study, for a much larger and permanent installation in Detroit, The Charred House. Impacted by Detroit’s disintegrating, disappearing houses, Ruhwald’s Charred House is intended to stand as a silent memorial to the many fires that have destroyed swathes of the city. Much like House, Room will be place of reflection and dialogue, weaving the domestic nature of a room/house/home with the complexity of the failing urban landscape.
Anders Ruhwald (born 1974, Denmark) lives and works at Cranbrook Academy of Art outside of Detroit, USA. He graduated from the Royal College of Art in London in 2005. Ruhwald has had more than 20 solo exhibitions in the last 10 years in museums and galleries around the world including Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (UK), The Museum of Art and Design (Denmark) and the Cranbrook Art Museum (USA). During the same time his work has been shown in more that 80 group shows at venues like Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), Fondation d’entreprise Richard (Paris), Pinakotek der Moderne (Munich), Taipei Yingge Museum (Taiwan) and Kunsthal Charlottenborg (Copenhagen).
His work is represented in over 20 public museum collections including The Victoria and Albert Museum (UK), The Denver Art Museum (USA), The Detroit Institute of Art (USA), Philadelphia Museum of Art (USA), Musée des Arts Décoratifs (France), The National Museum (Sweden), The Museum of Art and Design (Denmark) and Taipei Yingge Museum (Taiwan).
In 2011 he was awarded the Gold Prize at the Icheon International Biennial in South Korea. He also received a Danish Art Foundation three-year work-stipend in 2010 and the Sotheby’s Prize (UK) at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2007. Reviews include publications the Guardian (UK), Wallpaper (UK), Artforum.com (US), Financial Times and Avenuel (Rep. of S. Korea).
Ruhwald has lectured and taught at universities and colleges around Europe and North America since 2006 and has held an associate professorship at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Currently he is the Artist-in-Residence and the Head of the Ceramics Department at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan, USA.
Any thoughts about this post? Share yours in the comment box below.