Danish-born Anders Ruhwald’s “Almost Nothing” is made up of ceramics that evoke the familiarity and domestic environments of utilitarian objects. Ruhwald toys with functional forms to articulate nuanced themes that resist simple consumerist interpretations and the restrictions of a purely aesthetic vocabulary. Ruhwald’s objects are reminiscent of Chinese ceramics, or Arts and Crafts pottery. Working with white earthenware clay, Ruhwald describes his laborious process as one of trial and error, in which few tools are used and work is destroyed and revised as it is being molded. The pieces are then fired in large Dutch gas kilns and spray-glazed with specially formulated recipes. Ranging from smooth textures to coarse, finger-pocked surfaces, the pieces are in at least a hundred different shades of white and light hues. Ruhwald also features a series of bluish-white sculptures that suggest an elusive surface quality. The glaze has a thick, luminescent, liquid quality that gives the sculptures a watery, translucent appearance. Overall, Ruhwald’s work points to the subtle liminal realms between textures, colors, and ideas. Utilizing a Minimalist sensibility, with hints of the influences of the material world, these are pieces that are both intimately familiar and perpetually in process.
Anders Ruhwald was born in Denmark and graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2005. Solo exhibitions include the Museum of Art and Design, Copenhagen and galleries in New York, Chicago, Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Brussels. His work is represented in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum (UK), the National Museum of Decorative Art (Norway), the National Museum (Sweden), the Museum of Art and Design (Denmark), and several other public and private collections around the world. He was awarded the Sotheby’s Prize in the United Kingdom in 2007 and the Annie and Otto Detlefs Prize in Denmark in 2005. Ruhwald has lectured and taught at many universities and colleges across Europe and North America and has held an associate professorship at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Currently, he is the Artist-in-Residence and Head of the Ceramics Department at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Ruhwald lives and works in Detroit and London.