Thomas Ruff: flower.s

In flower.s, Ruff continues his exploration of the history of the photographic medium, here revisiting an analog technique known as pseudo-solarization, or the Sabattier effect. Originally discovered by chance, this technique involves exposing photographic film to a diffuse, secondary light in the darkroom, thereby partially inverting the light and dark areas of an image. Popular with Surrealist artists such as Man Ray and Lee Miller, Ruff transports the technique to the realm of digital imaging. First, he made flower arrangements on a lightbox, photographed them, and uploaded the digital files to a virtual darkroom on his computer. Applying an equivalent of the Sabattier effect, he then superimposed the positive and negative areas, and printed the final images on aged paper. Unlike the analog process, which invariably involves an element of chance, the artist here had complete control over the outcome.

A photograph by Thomas Ruff, titled flower.s.01, dated 2018.

Thomas Ruff

flower.s_01, 2018
Chromogenic print
54 1/2 x 46 1/2 inches (138.5 x 118 cm)
A photograph by Thomas Ruff, titled flower.s.03, dated 2018.

Thomas Ruff

flower.s_03, 2018
Chromogenic print
54 1/2 x 46 1/2 inches (138.5 x 118 cm)
A photograph by Thomas Ruff, titled flower.s.04, dated 2018.

Thomas Ruff

flower.s_04, 2018
Chromogenic print
54 1/2 x 46 1/2 inches (138.5 x 118 cm)
A photograph by Thomas Ruff, titled flower.s.05, dated 2018.

Thomas Ruff

flower.s_05, 2018
Chromogenic print
54 1/2 x 46 1/2 inches (138.5 x 118 cm)
A photograph by Thomas Ruff, titled flower.s.07, dated 2018.

Thomas Ruff

flower.s_07, 2018
Chromogenic print
54 1/2 x 46 1/2 inches (138.5 x 118 cm)
A photograph by Thomas Ruff, titled flower.s_19, dated 2019.

Thomas Ruff

flower.s_19, 2019
Chromogenic print
54 3/4 x 46 7/8 inches (139 x 119cm)

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