Thomas Ruff: New Work
Opening on Wednesday, March 9, 2005, the gallery will present new work by German artist Thomas Ruff. This will be the artist’s fourth solo exhibition at the gallery.
Best known for his oversized, deadpan portraits, his unmediated shots of commonplace interiors, his colorful abstractions taken from the Internet of Japanese manga & anime, and his evocative nudes borrowed from pornographic websites, Ruff has quietly approached many familiar genres and proceeded to discreetly reinvent them. Ruff has an uncanny feel for the look of the ordinary–in people, places, and objects. However, his brand of photographic objectivity is not that purportedly practiced by photojournalists. Rather, it is elicited by scanning the mundane for the telling particulars of aggregated detail, and by a reserved and skeptical curiosity towards photography's ultimate truthfulness.
In 2007, Thomas Ruff completed his monumental jpegs series in which he explored the distribution and reception of images in the digital age. Starting with images he culled primarily from the Web, Ruff enlarged them to a gigantic scale, which exaggerates the pixel patterns until they become sublime geometric displays of color. Many of Ruff’s works in the series focus on idyllic, seemingly untouched landscapes, and conversely, scenes of war, and nature disturbed by human manipulation. Taken together, these masterworks create an encyclopedic compendium of contemporary visual culture that also actively engages the history of landscape painting. A fittingly deluxe and oversized volume, jpegsis the first monograph dedicated exclusively to the publication of Ruff’s remarkable series. Also included is an essay by Bennett Simpson, Associate Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.