Thomas Ruff (b. 1958) was a student of Bernd Becher and is one of the leading figures of the acclaimed Düsseldorf School in Germany. For the last three decades his work has explored different genres and techniques of photography, including scientific, pornographic, and news imagery. Experimenting with a night vision camera and various ways of digital manipulation and production of images, Ruff has been constantly expanding the boundaries of the medium. He sees his work as closely related to the experimental Modernist photographers of the interwar years. In his Photograms series, for example, Ruff reinterprets a technique initially practiced by Man Ray and László Moholy-Nagy in the 1920s and continued by Arthur Siegel at the Chicago Institute of Design. Ruff also pays tribute to the history of photography in his Negatives series where he reprints historic photographs as negatives, appropriating both anonymous and canonical imagery such as Blossfeldt’s plant studies.
phg.02_I, 2013. Chromogenic print, 94½ x 72⅞ inches
© Thomas Ruff. Courtesy David Zwirner, New York/London/Hong Kong. © 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn