Thomas Ruff


chromogenic print
91 1/2 x 72 1/2 x 2 3/4 inches
edition 1 of 4 + 1 AP

Thomas Ruff is one of the leading German artists to emerge in the late 1980s from the Dusseldorf school, which also included photographers Thomas Struth, Candida Höfer, and Andreas Gurksy. In his recent series, press++, Ruff layers archival press photos with the corresponding text, markings, and stamps from the back side of the photo. The result is an image presented with its media context, a situation where multiple histories are presented simultaneously. In this work, an artist’s rendering of NASA’s Project Gemini is printed with the 1962 press release and editor’s notes (among them, “used 7/20/65” in the upper corner) on top. Ruff’s work not only questions the creation and meaning of an image, but also exists as a historical document of the pre-digital age where images were objects that actually had a front and back. Ruff’s work is included in numerous museum collections and has been the subject of solo museum exhibitions worldwide.