Friday, November 24, 2017

Thomas Ruff at Whitechapel Gallery, London

It was a total pleasure to see the Thomas Ruff show at London's Whitechapel Gallery. I'd expected something rather dry and on the dull side, yes, Ruff dispenses the Dusseldorf look which is let's say, cool and restrained. What blew me away was the depth and extent of Ruff's practice. Ruff experiments with so many different ideas, he's a risk taker and he gets away with it. The work examines the many ways of seeing and expression, yet within disunity there is connection and harmony. The works ask questions - what really are we looking at?  Why are things the way they are? Importantly the pictures somehow subvert the nature of photography, simply because the ideas get in the way. Altogether an outstanding show.

Whitechapel has this to say: Cosmology, suburbia, nudity, utopianism, catastrophe – these are some of the subjects that Thomas Ruff (b. 1958, Germany) addresses in his photographic series, which for almost four decades have investigated the status of the image in contemporary culture. This exhibition will draw from the full range of Ruff’s output: from his acclaimed Portraits – passport-style portraits, reproduced on a huge scale and revealing every surface detail of their subjects, to his most recent press photographs, drawing on newspaper archives from the era of the space race and Hollywood starlets. 

Thomas Ruff at Whitechapel Gallery runs until 21 January 2018.

You can see more on the galleries site HERE