Anders Ruhwald Announces Departure from Cranbrook Academy of Art

Moving from teaching to private studio practice

Bloomfield Hills, Mich., July 29, 2016 – Cranbrook Academy of Art announced today that Anders Ruhwald, Artist-in-Residence and Head of the Ceramics Department, will leave the Academy at the end of the 2016- 2017 academic year. Ruhwald notified the Academy of his decision earlier this week.

Ruhwald was appointed Artist-in-Residence and Head of the Ceramics Department in July of 2008. Born in Denmark, Ruhwald was educated at the Glass and Ceramics School in Bornholm, Denmark and at the Royal College of Art in London. Previously, Ruhwald was an Associate Professor of Art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has held teaching positions at University of Colorado at Boulder and Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Canada.

Anders Ruhwald is recognized as one of the foremost ceramic artists working in the world today. Noted for large-scale installations that explore ceramic as both idea and material, he brushes aside the distinction between “art” and “craft,” emphasizing instead the disruptive and transformative capacity of objects in space. As the former Director of New York’s Museum of Arts and Design Glenn Adamson has said,“For all their compressed particularity, [his] sculptures are also enlivened by inexhaustible nuance. Ruhwald takes seriously the idea that surface is where form interfaces with spatial context, so his surfaces have an intensity in all registers.”

In his Cranbrook studio, Ruhwald has produced work for more than 15 solo and 40 group exhibitions in cities around the world including New York, London, Paris, Milan, San Francisco, Chicago, Stockholm, Copenhagen and Taipei. His solo exhibitions include The View from the Sides of my Nose, Galerie NeC, Hong Kong; The Anatomy of a Home, Saarinen House, Cranbrook Art Museum; and You in Between at Middleborough Institute of Modern Art (UK). At the same time Ruhwald has been an active participant in the field of ceramics writing and jurying for biennials in Norway, South Korea, Denmark and the U.S. while giving more than 35 lectures at Museums and Art Colleges internationally.

Ruhwald helped Cranbrook Academy of Art’s ceramics program maintain its status as the second-best ceramics program in the country according to U.S. News and World Report. He has mentored of dozens of graduates that have gone on to shape the field of ceramics including four Fulbright fellows and one Gold Medal Winner at the 2016 Taiwan Ceramics Biennial.

A key component to Ruhwald’s teaching was an ambitious travel program that took students to London, Berlin, Jordan, Israel, Mexico City, Colombia, Indonesia, New Zealand as well as a range of U.S. cities.

This fall, Ruhwald was awarded a $25,000 matching grant from the Knight Foundation for his project Unit 1: 3583 Dubois in Detroit, which will explore the transformative qualities of fire — both destructive and constructive. The project, which Ruhwald has spent the last three years realizing, will establish a permanent art installation inside a Detroit apartment where the interior is made of charred wood, glass, steel and black ceramics. The installation is set to open in May 2017 and is the subject of a solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland opening September of 2016.

His work is represented in private and public collections, including The Victoria and Albert Museum (UK), The Denver Art Museum (USA), The Detroit Institute of Arts (USA), The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Sevres (France), Musée des Arts Décoratifs (France), Icheon World Ceramic Center (Rep. of South Korea), The British Crafts Council, The National Museum (Sweden), The National Museum of Art Design and Architecture (Norway) and The Yingge Ceramics Museum (Taiwan).

“As an institution, Cranbrook was fortunate to add Ruhwald to the long list of accomplished Artists-in-Residence who have shepherded the Ceramics department over the years, including Marshall Fredericks, Maija Grotell, Jun Kaneko, Tony Hepburn, and many more,” said Chris Scoates, the Maxine and Stuart Frankel Director of Cranbrook Academy of Art and Art Museum. “He showed his students the world, not only through regular travel expeditions but also through his work as a practicing artist. Change is difficult, but we are thankful for Ruhwald’s time at the Academy and look to this challenge as a new opportunity to shape the future of our program, which continues to rank as one of the top ceramics programs in the country.”

According to Ruhwald, “These last eight years have been exciting and wonderfully challenging. I am grateful for the time spent here, the talented students I had the opportunity to mentor and the wonderful community at Cranbrook and in Detroit that have supported me and become my friends. It is with mixed emotions that I have decided to leave. I will miss this place, but am excited for all of the opportunities that lie ahead.”

Ruhwald will stay on for the entire 2016-17 academic year and will then move on to pursue his own practice. In the fall, the Academy will undergo an international search for his replacement.

Photo by Jesper Bundgaard

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