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Thomas Ruff: photograms and ma.r.s. at David Zwirner

Photograms (detail) © Thomas Ruff, Courtesy David Zwirner, New York/London

Thomas Ruff is among the most important international photographers to emerge in the last twenty 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. Known for employing a range of techniques in his photographic work—spanning analog and digital exposures, computer-generated imagery, appropriation and manipulation—Ruff’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at prominent venues internationally, most recently in 2012 with a comprehensive large-scale survey presented at the Haus der Kunst in Munich.

Thomas Ruff: photograms and ma.r.s., on view March 28–April 27, 2013, at David Zwirner Gallery, will feature the world debut of Ruff’s new series, photograms, a body of work depicting abstract shapes, lines, and spirals in seemingly random formations with varying degrees of transparency and illumination. Reminiscent of 1920s-era experiments in camera-less photography, Ruff’s “photograms” derive from a virtual darkroom built by a custom-made software program. This new work will be presented alongside his ongoing series, ma.r.s., in which Ruff transforms black-and-white satellite photographs of the surface of Mars, taken by high-resolution cameras aboard NASA spacecraft, with interjections of saturated color.

Thomas Ruff: photograms and ma.r.s.
March 28–April 27, 2013
David Zwirner Gallery, New York

In 2009, Aperture released the first monograph dedicated exclusively to the publication of Ruff’s remarkable series JPEGS (completed in 2007), in which he explores the distribution and reception of images in the digital age.

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