Anders Ruhwald: Unit 1: 3583 Dubois

September 23, 2016December 31, 2016

3583 Dubois Street, in Detroit, Michigan, no longer exists. While the dilapidated 7,000 square-foot brick apartment building at this location still stands, the city has reassigned its address as 2170 Mack Avenue. It is a subtle change, but one that underscores a metaphoric loss of this place’s history. Like so many in Detroit and cities like it, this abandoned building holds memories waiting to be erased or revived. In his installation, Unit 1: 3583 Dubois, Anders Ruhwald repositions the building’s identity, intertwining its past, present, and future.

The exhibition presents several life-sized rooms and corridors based on a permanent installation that Ruhwald is creating in one apartment of this building, which the artist purchased in 2014 and is actively restoring. Ruhwald is converting the rooms in Unit 1 into abstracted spaces using materials from the building and neighborhood along with his signature ceramic works. Across the installation, fire is a key element that serves as material, process, and subject matter. Something that both consumes and transforms, fire is an ideal vehicle for Ruhwald’s exploration of destruction and renewal. Using charred wood, ash, molten glass, found objects, and black-glazed ceramics, Ruhwald meticulously composes an immersive, richly sensorial experience that is at once dramatic, nostalgic, and uncanny. Like the permanent installation, Unit 1: 3583 Dubois at MOCA Cleveland is both a memorial and a proposal in which materials and forms coalesce to retell (and thus reclaim) the past, animate the present, and suggest a shifted future.

Anders Ruhwald (1974, Randers, Denmark) lives in Detroit. He graduated from the Royal College of Art in London in 2005. In the past decade, Ruhwald has had more than 20 solo exhibitions at museums and galleries around the world including Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (United Kingdom), The Museum of Art and Design (Denmark), the Saarinen House (Detroit). His work has been featured in more than 80 group exhibitions at venues including Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), Fondation d’entreprise Richard (Paris), Pinakotek der Moderne (Munich), Taipei Yingge Museum (Taiwan), and Kunsthal Charlottenborg (Copenhagen). His work is represented in over 20 public museum collections including The Victoria and Albert Museum (UK), Denver Art Museum, Detroit Institute of Art, Musée des Arts Décoratifs (Paris), The National Museum (Sweden), The Museum of Art and Design (Denmark), and Taipei Yingge Museum (Taiwan). In 2011, he was awarded the Gold Prize at the Icheon International Biennial in South Korea. He also received a Danish Art Foundation three-year work-stipend in 2010 and the Sotheby’s Prize (UK) at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2007. For his permanent project at 3583 Dubois, Ruhwald has earned grants from the Knight Foundation, the Graham Foundation, and the Danish Art Foundation. Ruhwald has lectured and taught at universities and colleges around Europe and North-America since 2006, he was an associate professor 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.

Organized by Megan Lykins Reich, Deputy Director

Generous support for Anders Ruhwald: Unit 1: 3583 Dubois is provided by The Danish Arts Foundation. 

All 2016-2017 exhibitions are funded by Leadership Circle gifts from an anonymous donor, Yuval Brisker, Joanne Cohen and Morris Wheeler, Margaret Cohen and Kevin Rahilly, Becky Dunn, Harriet Goldberg, Agnes Gund, Michelle Jeschelnig-Shan and Richard Jeschelnig, Donna and Stewart Kohl, Toby Devan Lewis, and Scott Mueller. 

All MOCA Cleveland exhibitions are supported in part by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, the Cleveland Foundation, the George Gund Foundation, and the continuing support of the Museum's Board of Directors, patrons and members. 

Opening night celebration supported by BakerHostetler.