Azzedine Alaïa is pleased to present Kris Ruhs’ Hanging Garden , the first Parisian exhibition of the American artist and designer Kris Ruhs, an enigmatic figure in today’s art scene.
Kris Ruhs (born in New York in 1952) occupies a strong place in the contemporary landscape – his work bending the frontiers of contemporary art and design: while at the School of Visual Arts in New York, where entire generations of artists of the 1970’s and 80’s from Joseph Kosuth to Keith Haring attended, Ruhs drew from it a great range of conceptual freedom blended with a deep fascination for the nature of material objects.
Since then, he has conceived complete environments, hand fabricated jewelry as art wear, built walls and objects of light, and thrown and fired his own ceramics; at the same time he is the creator of a body of work in the more traditionally recognized mediums of drawing, painting and sculpture. A principle governs his work: the transformation of shapes, which can take, from their oneiric origin, many different manifestations, as long as they are treated and dealt with artistically with a craftsman’s technique.
With Hanging Garden (2014-2015) Ruhs presents an holistic installation made of over 45,000 pieces of curved brass, iron threads and fragile porcelain, each unique and each fashioned by hand.
This exhibition embodies the foundational elements of the art of Kris Ruhs: every item is unique, and the composition emanates from handwork as much as from the activity of imagination; every piece it is made of, and therefore every shape is unique; they allow the viewer to enter the imaginary space of the artist; in its ability to challenge the borders between goldsmithery, sculpture, installation and scenography, it invites the viewer to re-think the limitations imposed upon the field of art; most importantly, the work engages with every viewer, who will then experience the hanging garden from their singular point of view and their own imagination: a bridge built between the artist and the audience.
It is also the result of the artist’s own journey and research, filtering through the rigors of the production process, while honing the multiplicity of his creations into a single work; simple and unique as today – a timeless short cut to the present.
On several occasions, he has collaborated with Azzedine Alaïa in structuring exhibition spaces and creating jewelry sculptural pieces for Alaïa’s presentations.
The exhibition Kris Ruhs, the Hanging Garden , is accompanied by a catalogue published by Association Azzedine Alaïa and Carla Sozzani Editore including a number of views of the installation, a conversation with the artist, and a critical essay by Donatien Grau.