Thomas Ruff (b. 1958 Zell am Harmersbach) studied photography at the Academy of Fine Arts in Düsseldorf with Prof. Bernd Becher. He he lives and works in Düsseldorf.
Since the 1990s Ruff has been a leading figure in contemporary art for the exploration of the photographic medium and its potential.
Starting with the the renowed series of “Portraits”, rigorous portraits of monumental dimensions, in which any “psychologising” approach to the image is denied, his artistic production has then embraced different categories of image: from nude to pure abstract, from celestial bodies to extra-terrestrial surfaces, from interiors to architecture. This variety of themes is reflected in the range of techniques adopted: analog and digital images, computer-generated images, archival photographs and images manipulated by newspapers, magazines and the Internet.
Despite the plurality of his choices, in all his works, Thomas Ruff always looks at the fundamentals of the photographic language: his production appears as a true grammar of photography, in which every trial aims to reread and problematize the traditional photographic code. Ruff does not photograph reality, on the contrary, he portrays the realities and possibilities of photography. Photography creates an image, something that reflects itself above all, and whose relationship with reality is problematic, all to prove.
Lia Rumma Gallery has been representing his work since his first solo show at the gallery in Naples, dated 1991.