Thomas Ruff (German, b. 1958) is a contemporary German artist acclaimed for his explorations of photography in serial works, portraits, and, most recently, digital images. Ruff was born in Zell am Harmersbach, Germany, and studied photography at the Düsseldorf Academy of Art with Bernd and Hilla Becher. He first received critical attention for his series “Interiors,” in which he photographed domestic spaces in West Germany, later followed by spare, somber portraits of friends that drew from the aesthetics of 1970s police photographs. Ruff began creating large-scale works in color in the 1980s, photographing building facades and printing them for display at monumental sizes. Ruff is known for his experiments with altered and appropriated imagery in his work, which borrows material from newspapers, textbooks, pornography, public architecture, Japanese manga (comics), found images from the internet, and even the artist’s own photographs. Ruff has had recent solo shows at Gagosian Gallery, London, England (2012); Haus der Kunst München, Munich, Germany (2012); Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Málaga, Málaga, Spain (2011); Goethe-Institut Moskau, Russia (2011); Mai 36 Galerie, Zurich, Switzerland (2011); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL (2011); Galerist Istanbul, Turkey (2010); and David Zwirner, New York, NY (2010). He has also exhibited at the Venice Biennale and Documenta IX. He lives and works in Düsseldorf, Germany.
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