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Accompanying a major retrospective survey at London's Whitechapel Gallery - "Thomas Ruff: Photographs 1979 – 2017", this definitive monograph explores themes throughout the work of one of the greatest artists using photography in the 21st century.
Since the late ’70s, his art has taken a wide multitude of forms: monotonous photographs of German apartments, passport-style portraits, luridly colorized mappings of Mars, retouched pornography scoured from the web, Man Ray-style “photograms” made with a supercomputer up to his most recent press++ photographs, drawing on newspaper archives from the era of the space race and Hollywood starlets.
Coming of age alongside Andreas Gursky, Candida Hoffer and Thomas Struth in what was to become known as the Düsseldorf School, Ruff's work explores the technologies of the camera and image production – from satellite cameras to digital lenses, from the analogue negative to the JPEG – to reflect on the picturing of our built environment, current affairs, pornography, disaster, the cosmos, exhibition making – and unlock what images tell us about modernity.
This publication features a revelatory anthology of writings selected by the artist that give insights into his oeuvre, illustrated here with a chronology of his most important series. Curator and writer Iwona Blazwick; photography historian David Campany; curator Cameron Foote; art historian of modernism Sarah E. James; and curator and expert on the archive Nayia Yiakoumaki, all contribute new perspectives.
The catalogue is published with four alternative covers. Every order will be picked at random.
About the Photographer:
Thomas Ruff (b. 1958 in Zell am Harmersbach, Germany) is a German photographer who lives and works in Düsseldorf. Ruff studied photography from 1977 to 1985 at the renowned Staatliche Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf with Bernd & Hilla Becher, and Petra Wunderlich. Ruff’s paintings are remarkable for their size and perfect technique. In the past 30 years, the artist has continuously taken on formal as well as technical aspects of analogue and digital photography. And for various series, he also adopted foreign materials that he processed and introduced to the visual arts.
Thomas Ruff has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions internationally, including recently Object Relations at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, a survey at the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo and 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa both also in 2016 and Thomas Ruff: Lichten at the Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (S.M.A.K.) in Ghent in 2014. Ruff was recently selected as a finalist for the Prix Pictet photography award.
Published in September 2017 by The Whitechapel Gallery, London.
With texts by Iwona Blazwick, David Campany, Cameron Foote, Sarah E. James, Nayia Yiakoumaki
Paperback with PVC jacket
232 pages, 30 x 25 cm, 200 colour illustrations