Thomas Ruff is a contemporary German photographer and prominent member of the Düsseldorf School. His large-scale photographic series of domestic interiors, austere portraits, blurred pornography, and found JPEGs, intend to spur the imagination rather than to capture truth. “I think that historically photographs may have been made in a naive and honest way, when photographers believed in the ‘pencil of nature’ and recording what was in front of the camera,” he said of the medium. “But photography quickly came to be used in a prejudicial way, losing its innocence and consequently its ability to communicate.” Born on February 10, 1958 in Zell am Harmersbach, Germany, Ruff studied under Bernd and Hilla Becher at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf during the late 1970s. The Becher’s treatment of photography as an open archive became an underlying structure for the young artist, as well as his classmates Andreas GurskyThomas Struth, and Candida Höfer. Ruff continues to live and work in Düsseldorf, Germany. His works are held in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Tate Gallery in London, the Kunstmuseum Basel, and The Museum of Modern Art in New York.


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