Sculptures from Casa Jorn
Artists Anders Herwald Ruhwald
opening and book launch: Tuesday 15 January 2019, 6-9pm
Officine Saffi is pleased to present Sculptures from Casa Jorn, the second solo show by Anders Herwald Ruhwald with the gallery.
The show presents an entirely new body of work made by Ruhwald specifically for the Jorn House Museum. The fifteen sculptures are the result of a year of Ruhwald’s dedicated research into Asger Jorn’s writings and theories on architecture and design. Ruhwald’s individual sculptures become annotations to the house and recontextualize central ideas of Asger Jorn’s universe and theoretical framework- especially his critique of functionalism, capitalism and his use of décollage as an artistic strategy.
Adaptable Body I and II integrate the furniture into sculpture by reconfiguring the utilitarian value of the furniture. Yet this relationship is not fixed and is potentially changeable by releasing the clamp and placing the object elsewhere. Hereby the sculptures are a temporary animation of an otherwise set interior, rearranging the object’s hierarchy within a room. It is a potentially continual changing type of sculpture that can make any object it attaches to part of its meaning.
The four bust-like ceramic heads titled The Four Sailors highlight a specific feature of the human head - an ear, an eye, a mouth, a nose - but are otherwise without specific facial characteristics. By this The Four Sailors are traditional busts that emphasize a human sensory ability in lieu of any kind of classical portraiture, thus they become the representation of a fractured human perceptive capacity and a problematic allusion to Jorn’s theories of man in culture and nature.
As in the compact and graphically powerful sculpture This Constructed World, in which a Poul Henningsen PH lamp is caught fast in a mass of clay, these works juxtapose diametrically opposed modes of Nordic modernity - design icons meet the avant-garde.
Dog Whistle incorporates two elements, both sourced by the artist in Detroit: the Vietnamese-style flowerpot is from a strip mall and the greyhound is from Ceramics By Bob & Hazel, an extraordinary shop in Pontiac, Michigan, which offers slipcast objects of every description. Ruhwald simply joined these two found objects together, glazed them, and in an inspired comic touch, popped a ring over the dog’s snout. It sits in perpetual high alert, yet seems aware of its own ridiculousness.
The catalogue of the exhibition The Body, The Mind, This Constructed World will be launched during the opening reception. The book features essays by Glenn Adamson, a curator based in Brooklyn who works across the fields of design, craft and contemporary art; Ruth Baumeister, a speclalist in European Post-War Avant-Gardes in Architecture and Art, and a professor of Architecture History and Theory at the Aarhus School of Architecture; and Luca Bochicchio, the Director of Casa Museo Jorn. The catalogue is co-published by Officine Saffi, Morán Morán and Casa Jorn with the support of Annie & Otto Johs. Detlefs' Fonde, and Danish Arts Foundation.
Anders Herwald Ruhwald (born 1974, Denmark) lives and works in Chicago, IL, USA and graduated from the Royal College of Art in London in 2005. Solo exhibitions include Unit 1: 3583 Dubois at MOCA Cleveland (USA); The State of Things at The Museum of Art and Design in Copenhagen (Denmark); You in Between at Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (UK) and more than 30 gallery and museum solo-shows in Asia, Europe and the USA as well as more than 100 group-exhibitions around the world. Ruhwald’s work is represented in over 25 public collections internationally including The Victoria and Albert Museum (UK), Musée des Arts Décoratifs (France), The Denver Art Museum (USA), The Detroit Institute of Art (USA), The Philadelphia Museum of Art (USA) and The National Museum (Sweden). In 2015 Ruhwald was awarded a Knight Foundation grant (USA) to develop a permanent immersive installation inside an apartment in Detroit (USA), which opens later this year. He has also been awarded the Gold Prize at the Icheon International Ceramics Biennale (South Korea) in 2011 and the Sotheby’s Prize (UK) in 2007. Reviews include major publications in the Guardian (UK), Artforum.com (US), and the New York Times Magazine (US). Ruhwald has lectured and taught at universities and colleges around Europe and North-America. From 2008-2017 he was the Artist-in-Residence and head of the Ceramics Department at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan, USA.