Galleri Format Oslo
The new exhibition by US based Danish artist Anders Ruhwald titled “The View from the Sides of my Nose” at Galleri Format Oslo is the first solo gallery presentation of his work in Norway. As the title suggests, the exhibition is about seeing and the duality of sight and experience. The show marks a departure in Ruhwald’s career as this exhibition is primarily autobiographical in nature.
The work in the show has its origin in everyday occurrences in Ruhwald’s life and consists of 9 pairs of objects. Either part of the pairs is a slight variation of the other in material, form or colour. As an example the piece “A tree that fell in my back yard rendered in the form of an abstracted body version C and D” are two objects- one that is made out of mulberry wood from a tree that fell close to Ruhwald’s home and one where a similar form is rendered in laminated pine. In the piece, an everyday occurrence not only becomes the subject of the work, but the material of one of the objects, as the piece is made out of the exact tree that prompted the idea to make it. Hereby “A tree that fell….” is a casual exploration of everyday phenomena that has a notion of chance imbedded into the structure of the work. Yet this notion of ambiguity is the point of Ruhwald show. The other object that makes up “A Tree that fell in my back year rendered in the form of a body version A and B” is made out of laminated pine in a similar form. Hereby a gap opens between the two objects- they seem the same yet, with differences in form and material. As such they suggest two points of view on the same subject or slight variations on the same idea.
Ruhwald quotes an interest in Venus figurines (like the Venus of Dolni Vestonice) as a beginning point for this body of work. Some scholars have begun to understand these figures as self-portraits rather than fertility symbols. In this reading the enlarged breasts and hips of the figures is a result of a woman looking down upon herself and as a result of this specific viewpoint overemphasizes specific features of the body. The disproportional body figure becomes a result of the person’s inability to see oneself in the eyes of another. Hereby the duality of seeing in Ruhwald’s mind is not only about our brains ability to join what either eyes sees, but it is a play of how we see ourselves from the inside and outside.
Ruhwald references this idea directly in the slightly humorous piece ”My nose as seen with my own eyes version A and B” where he has given form to a nose like object- one in wood and one in ceramics that is oddly stylized and split.
In another piece “Here version A and B” Ruhwald has given 3-dimensional form to the ubiquitous red Google map marker. As such the objects become a deadpan self-referential thing by proclaiming its presence in the gallery as a marking of a place. But as a marker of site it travels in material form from the artist’s studio to the gallery and eventually onwards.
As such the whole exhibition “The view from the sides of my nose” is an investigation into the question of place and the understanding of self in a world of continual physical and virtual movement. Ruhwald sites the work as a way of making sense of the world from a single point and the inability to do so. At the same time it continues Ruhwald on going exploration of the nature of objects and how we understand them.
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.
Solo exhibitions include “The State of Things” at The Museum of Art and Design in Copenhagen (DK), “You in Between” at Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (UK) and several gallery solo-shows in New York, London, Paris, Hong Kong, San Francisco, Chicago, Stockholm, Copenhagen and Brussels as well as numerous group exhibitions around the world.
His work is represented in the private and public collections internationally including The Victoria and Albert Museum (UK), The Denver Art Museum (USA), The Detroit Institute of Art (USA), Sevres (France), Icheon World Ceramic Center (Rep. of South Korea), The British Crafts Council, The National Museum (Sweden), The Museum of Art and Design (Denmark), The Yingge Ceramics Museun (Taiwan).
In 2011 he was awarded the Gold Prize at the Icheon International Ceramics Biennale in South Korea, as well as receiving a Danish Art Foundation three-year work-stipend in 2010 and the Sotheby’s Prize (UK) in 2007. Reviews include major publications the Guardian (UK), Wallpaper (UK), Artforum.com (US), Sculpture Magazine (US) and Avenuel (Rep. of S. Korea).
Ruhwald has lectured and taught at universities and colleges around 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 Michigan, USA.
Parallel show at Kunstnerforbundet
Anders Ruhwald is also exhibiting at Kunstnerforbundet with the exhibition called “You in Between” from 2 – 26 October. This exhibition will open 2 October at 6 pm, one hour before Galleri Format Oslo. With these parallel shows Anders Ruhwald will be widely presented to the Norwegian audience, who can experience his impressive work in two exhibitions.