Thomas Ruff: Photograms

Ruff’s photograms depict abstract shapes, lines, and spirals in seemingly random formations with varying degrees of transparency and illumination. Their formal composition is reminiscent of the photograms made by Surrealist artists in the 1920s, who were experimenting with camera-less methods of creating images using light. Their method allowed for the element of chance in the final result, whereas Ruff's photograms are derived from a virtual studio built by a custom software program, giving the artist more aesthetic control over the outcome. Their digital generation raises broader questions about what constitutes photography, and ultimately touches upon the issue of the medium’s veracity.

A photograph by Thomas Ruff, titled phg.s.06_I, dated 2014.

Thomas Ruff

phg.s.06_I, 2014
Chromogenic print with Diasec
94 3/8 x 72 7/8 inches (240 x 185 cm)
A photograph by Thomas Ruff, titled phg.01_I, dated 2013.

Thomas Ruff

phg.01_I, 2013
Chromogenic print with Diasec
99 7/8 x 72 1/4 inches (253.7 x 183.5 cm)
A photograph by Thomas Ruff, titled phg.04_I, dated 2013.

Thomas Ruff

phg.04_I, 2013
Chromogenic print with Diasec
94 3/8 x 72 7/8 inches (240 x 185 cm) 3/4
A photograph by Thomas Ruff, titled phg.s.05, dated 2013.

Thomas Ruff

phg.s.05, 2013
Chromogenic print
Framed: 94 x 72 1/2 inches (238.8 x 184.2 cm)
A photograph by Thomas Ruff, titled phg.s.01, dated 2012.

Thomas Ruff

phg.s.01, 2012
Chromogenic print with Diasec
94 x 72 1/2 inches (238.8 x 184.2 cm)

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