Thomas Ruff

Images

Thomas Ruff, Porträt (A. Wagner), 1985. Chromogenic development print; framed: 82 ½ x 65 × 1 ½ in. (209.6 × 165.1 × 3.8 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Susan and Lewis Manilow in honor of Gerald S. Elliott, 1995.9. © 1985 Thomas Ruff. Photo: © MCA Chicago.
Thomas Ruff, Interieurs 10C, 1980. Chromogenic development print; 20 × 16 ¼ in. (50.8 × 41.3 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of William J. Hokin in honor of the MCA’s 40th anniversary, 2007.28. © 1980 Thomas Ruff. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.
Thomas Ruff, Porträt (M. Van Ofen), 1987. Chromogenic development print; framed: 91 ¼ x 72 ¼ x 1 ½ in. (231.8 × 183.5 × 3.8 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Susan and Lewis Manilow in honor of Gerald S. Elliott, 1995.10. © 1987 Thomas Ruff. Photo © MCA Chicago.
Thomas Ruff, d.p.b.02, 1999. Laserchrome and diasec; framed: 73 5/8 × 111 5/8 in. (187 × 283.5 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, partial gift of Pamela and Michael Alper, 2001.14. © 1999 Thomas Ruff. Photo © MCA Chicago.
Thomas Ruff, Porträt (H. Haussman), 1988. Chromogenic development print; framed: 83 × 65 in. (210.8 × 165.1 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Gerald S. Elliott Collection, 1995.91. © 1988 Thomas Ruff. Photo © MCA Chicago.
Thomas Ruff, Interieurs 9B, 1980. Chromogenic development print; 20 × 16 ¼ in. (50.8 × 41.3 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of William J. Hokin in honor of the MCA’s 40th anniversary, 2007.27. © 1980 Thomas Ruff. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.
Thomas Ruff, Interieurs 1D, 1980. Chromogenic development print; 16 ¼ x 20 in. (41.3 × 50.8 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of William J. Hokin in honor of the MCA’s 40th anniversary, 2007.30. © 1980 Thomas Ruff. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.
Thomas Ruff, zycles 3065, 2008. Ink-jet print on canvas; framed: 104 ¼ x 92 ½ in. (264.8 × 235 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Marilyn and Larry Fields, 2009.4. © 2008 Thomas Ruff, courtesy David Zwirner, New York. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.
Thomas Ruff, Porträt (C. Kewer), 1988. Chromogenic development print; framed: 83 × 65 in. (210.8 × 165.1 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Gerald S. Elliott Collection, 1995.90. © 1988 Thomas Ruff. Photo © MCA Chicago.
Thomas Ruff, Interieurs 3D, 1980. Chromogenic development print; 20 × 16 ¼ in. (50.8 × 41.3 cm), Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of William J. Hokin in honor of the MCA’s 40th anniversary, 2007.29. © 1980 Thomas Ruff. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.

About

MCA DNA: Thomas Ruff is the first iteration of an ongoing exhibition series featuring iconic works that constitute the building blocks of the MCA Collection. As demonstrated by this exhibition, the MCA has a strong holding of works by Ruff (German, b. 1958), who belongs to a generation of influential German photographic artists that includes Andreas Gursky (German, b. 1955), Thomas Struth (German, b. 1954), and Candida Hofer (German, b. 1944). These artists all attended the Kunstakademie Dusseldorf in the 1980s, studying under conceptual photographer Bernd Becher (German, 1931–2007). Ruff’s varied work ranges from his early (now seminal) large-scale portraits of German citizens, to studies of modernist architecture, to digitally modified pornographic images appropriated from the Internet. In recent years, Ruff has continued to explore the creative potential of digital media, producing pure photographic abstractions by manipulating found digital images, or creating intricate compositions through the use of computer modeling programs. The diversity of Ruff’s approach reflects his commitment to exploring the various facets of photography, from its documentary function to its development as an aesthetic medium. His rigorous investigations into the distinctive characteristics of the medium are essential to understanding photography’s place in contemporary art.

This exhibition is organized by MCA Curatorial Assistant Michael Green.

Funding

Official Airline of the Museum of Contemporary Art