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This exhibition is a mid-career retrospective of the work of the German photographer Thomas Ruff, one of the most acclaimed and groundbreaking photographers working today. A student at the Dusseldorf Kunstacademie under the influential Bernd Becher, Ruff and his fellow students Andreas Gursky, Axel Hutte, Candida Hoffer and Thomas Struth are considered by many to have redefined contemporary photography in the late 1980s and ’90s. Ruff’s art explores the objective gaze of the lens and the role of the viewer, the photographer and the subject. Famous for his shots of commonplace interiors and his seemingly straightforward photographs of architecture, he is also renowned for his oversized, deadpan ‘Portrait’ series, on which he has been working since 1986. He also works with other subjects, including landscape, nightscape, nudes and collage, all of which interrogate the medium of photography itself. He has explored many familiar genres and has an uncanny feel for the look of the ordinary – in people, places and objects. The exhibition provides an extensive overview of each facet of his vast artistic output and includes the famous ‘Small Portrait’ series, the ‘Night’ series and the ‘House’ series.

The retrospective is part of a touring exhibition organised by Kunsthalle Baden-Baden. The exhibition is supported by the Institute of Foreign Cultural Relations, Stuttgart, and the Goethe Institut, Dublin.

A major full-colour publication, published by the Kunsthalle Baden-Baden with an essay by the curator Dr Matthias Winzen, accompanies the exhibition (price €35.00). An exhibition guide is also available (price €2.00).

About the Artist

Thomas Ruff b.1958

German photographer Thomas Ruff studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf under Bernd and Hilla Becher. Influenced by the Bechers’ controlled aesthetic, Ruff’s photographic series’ of people and buildings follow strict compositional parameters based on democratic representation. Becoming more overtly political from the 1990s, Ruff also works with archival and web sourced images which he digitally alters and rescales. His photographic work is represented in major collections worldwide.

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