May 1 - Oct 31, 2013
Danish ceramist Anders Ruhwald’s series of seven site-sensitive installations in Cranbrook’s Saarinen House, providing the ideal backdrop for Ruhwald’s continued investigations into the nature of Modernism—specifically Scandinavian Modernism—and will serve to heighten the dialogue that his work promotes within the overlapping fields of art, craft, and design.
Although Ruhwald has presented other site-sensitive installations in Europe, his interventions into the domestic spaces of Saarinen House, from the iconic dining room to the private rear courtyard, will allow the artist to fully explore Modernism’s construction of the everyday, and what happens to that ideal when it is frozen in time in the fictive environment of a house museum.
The installation, opening to the public 1 May 2013, will also explore the interpersonal relationships of the Saarinen family, including the father-son dynamic of Eliel and Eero and the link between the two provided by the work of Alvar Aalto.
“The Saarinen House is an immensely loaded space. It was a model home and poster building for the Saarinens, but also served as the frame in which the son Eero grew up and spent his formative years working for his father,” said Ruhwald. “As such, the house becomes historically and psychologically charged- a place where work and life was presented as one. Through this intervention I have explored this dynamic and tried to make sense of a house in which the architecture and objects have become stand-ins for the life that was once lived there.”
Ruhwald was born in Denmark, and educated at the Royal College of Art in London. He has received a number of international awards including a three-year work stipend from the Danish Art Foundation in 2010, the Sotheby Prize from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in 2007 and Gold Prize at the Icheon World Ceramic Center in South Korea in 2012. Ruhwald was appointed Artist-in-Residence and Head of the Ceramics Department at Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2008.
For the last ten years, Ruhwald has enjoyed an active international exhibition career that has spanned Europe, Africa, Asia and North America. His work has been represented in leading international public collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the National Museum of Sweden and The Detroit Institute of Arts. He has won critical acclaim for his conceptual work that explores the boundaries of the ceramic medium as an idea and a material.