Thomas Ruff : Photographs 1979-Present
All fields of contemporary Western life are captured by the lens of Thomas Ruff’s large-format camera: petit bourgeois homes in the provinces and suburbs; modernist and current architectural structures; the startlingly alien faces of fellow human beings; the technologically sophisticated observation of outer space; studies of local neighborhoods by night; the news industry’s non-stop invention of pictures; changing views on how we feel about our bodies; and modifications in perceptions through the pictorial explosion of the Internet. Since the early 80s, Thomas Ruff has created a substantial photographic oeuvre in which he draws our attention to all of these familiar subjects, simultaneously marshalling a precise, fascinating rendition of our perceptual universe and a conceptually matter-of-fact presentation of untold layers of meaning and photographic premises. This catalogue gathers, for the first time, all of the work he has created since 1979, placing his most important and familiar works in the context of his entire oeuvre. Substantial reproductions are accompanied by scholarly essays, an annotated catalogue raisonné of works since 1979, and an illustrated biography. You cannot explain the whole world in one photograph. Photography pretends. You can see everything that’s in front of the camera, but there’s always something beside it.
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