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phg.08, 2012

Thomas Ruff’s practice is singularly heterogeneous, especially when compared with other members of the Düsseldorf School, but it has always been grounded in a keen interest in technological limits of the photographic medium. This has never been more evident than in photograms and ma.r.s, his current show at David Zwirner, in New York.

3D-ma.r.s.09, 2013

ma.r.s is an ongoing experimentation with photographs of the surface of, well, Mars, taken by NASA’s extremely high-resolution cameras. Using filters and Photoshop, Ruff altered the raw files and generated dauntingly large and hauntingly gorgeous prints of a thoroughly alien landscape, some in 3D and to be viewed with special glasses.

phg.06, 2012

photograms similarly uses one form of image making to create another. Fascinated by the avant-garde, camera-less experiments of Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and Christian Schad, Ruff asked himself how he might make color photograms, something that isn’t possible via analogue means. His solution is typically Ruffian: use the 3D modeling software used by digital FXs houses to create a virtual darkroom, and run wild. The results are uncanny, both strangely familiar and shockingly new. And also spectacular.

ma.r.s.05 III, 2012

Thomas Ruff
photograms and ma.r.s
On view through April 27
David Zwirner
525 West 19th Street
New York

Photography by Thomas Ruff. Courtesy David Zwirner, New York/London

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