Over the course of his 30-year career, Thomas Ruff (born 1958) has approached every genre of photography and coolly reinvented it.
One of the greatest artists to use photography in the 21st century, Ruff came of age in the 1980s alongside Andreas Gursky, Candida Höfer and Thomas Struth, in what was to become known as the Düsseldorf School.
Creating photographic images on the scale of history painting but with a cool hyperrealism, Ruff moves from the micro to the macro, from portraying friends to picturing the cosmos. He also oscillates between the laboratory and the archive, experimenting with digital technologies to create photograms with virtual objects and rescuing discarded press photographs to reveal lost histories.
This substantial Ruff overview accompanies a major retrospective survey at the Whitechapel Gallery in London, and contains all of his most renowned series, including portraits, disasters, sky and cityscapes, internet nudes, photograms, manga images, magnetically generated images and found press photographs.