Anders Ruhwald at Saarinen House: The Anatomy of a Home was published in conjunction with an exhibition of the same name highlighting the work of Danish ceramist Anders Ruhwald in his first solo exhibition in Michigan. Ruhwald presents a series of “site-sensitive” installations in Saarinen House, the “total work of art” designed by the Finnish-American architect Eliel Saarinen in 1930. Saarinen House, which Cranbrook Art Museum operates as a historic house museum, provides the ideal backdrop for Ruhwald’s continued investigations into the nature of Modernism—specifically Scandinavian Modernism—and heightens the dialogue that his work promotes within the overlapping fields of art, craft, and design. Ruhwald serves as an Artist-in-Residence and Head of the Ceramics Department at Cranbrook Academy of Art.
Ruhwald’s interventions into the domestic spaces of Saarinen House—from the iconic dining room to the private rear courtyard—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. Also investigated are 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.