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Thomas Ruff


Thomas Ruff’s new photograms series will make their world debut at David Zwirner on March 28th. They will be presented with his ongoing series of other large-scale works, ma.r.s. Thomas Ruff’s new works depict abstract shapes, lines, and spirals in seemingly random formations with varying degrees of transparency and illumination. Their compositions are reminiscent of artistic experimentation with camera-less photography in the 1920s. Cherished in particular by the Surrealists, such photograms were governed by unanticipated light effects, allowing for the element of chance in the final result. Yet both the objects and the light in Ruff’s “photograms” derive from a virtual studio built by a custom-made software program, giving the artist more control over the outcome. Ruff adds colors to his photograms (a departure from the monochrome tones of traditional versions), creating visually complex, illusory arrangements of foreground and background, definition and blur. Working in distinct series since the late 1970s, Ruff has approached different genres of photography, including portraiture, architecture, astronomy, the nude, surveillance imagery, and reportage. Using a wide range of technological approaches, and often pushing the limits of photographic representation in the process, he has reinvented many historical conventions and expectations of the medium. The photograms and ma.r.s. works presented in this exhibition are a continuation of his interest in visual verisimilitude, with each series exploring the mutability and material presence of the photographic image.

March 28 – April 27, 2013
David Zwirner Gallery
525 West 19th Street
New York, NY 10011
Fax 212 727 2072 
Opening reception: Thursday, March 28, 6 – 8 PM

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