Organic Ceramics – This is the Living Vessel by Anders Ruhwald
Contemporary Danish artist Anders Ruhwald creates installations and sculptural-looking vessels made out of clay that challenge our preconceptions of this material traditionally associated with the world of crafts. His ceramic-based three-dimensional works have organic forms and rich textures granted by the different types of glazes he applies to their surfaces. Next to his ceramic works, the artist recently took his practice to an unseen level by creating “living artworks” that included foliage as an integral part of the ever-changing and participatory artwork.
Anders is a graduate of the Royal College of Art, in London, and is currently based in Chicago. Rather than thinking of himself as an artist, Ruhwald views himself as a form-giver that explores the properties, tactility, and creative potential of the materials he works with, mainly clay. Resulting from this approach to ceramic making, over the years the artist has experimented with a myriad of glazing and firing techniques. For example, he has produced a series of more than one hundred works covered with different ceramic glazes. His innovative techniques and style have brought him international recognition. As proof of this, his work forms part of the collections of twenty important museums, such as The Art Institute of Chicago, The Victoria and Albert Museum, and The Denver Art Museum; and has been featured in exhibitions on an international scale.
Ruhwald’s most recent exhibition, titled This is the Living Vessel: Body, was presented at Mexico City gallery Morán Morán. This solo show had as its main character a large-scale clay structure containing organic-looking pots filled with different sorts of living plants and flowers. This ceramic-based installation is not static. It will change its appearance over time as the plants will grow and eventually die and needs to be taken care of to guarantee its “life.” Next to this interactive work, a group of ceramic vessels and candleholders coloured in white, blue, and orange are also included in this show. Without a doubt, the capricious forms and textures of Ruhald’s works blur the lines between a functional and an artistic object.