JPEGSPhotographs by Thomas Ruff
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Thomas Ruff is among the most important international photographers to emerge in the last fifteen years, and one of the most enigmatic and prolific of Bernd and Hilla Becher's former students, a group that includes Andreas Gursky, Thomas Struth, Candida Höfer, and Axel Hutte.
In 2007, Ruff completed his monumental Jpegs series in which he explores the distribution and reception of images in the digital age. Starting with images he culls primarily from the Web, Ruff enlarges 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, Jpegs is the first monograph dedicated exclusively to the publication of Ruff's remarkable series.
Thomas Ruff (born in Zell am Harmersbach, Germany, 1958) has exhibited in galleries and museums throughout Europe, Asia, and North America, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; and Kunst-Werke, Berlin. He is the 2006 recipient of the International Center of Photography’s Infinity Award.
Bennett Simpson (essay) is associate curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and a widely published critic. He recently curated exhibitions of the work of Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Roe Ethridge, Dan Graham, and Lisa Lipinski.