In a series of abstract works that he started making in 2012, the photographer Thomas Ruff has explored technical and aesthetic aspects of the photogram. A process based on the same photochemistry that underlies analog photography, the photogram had its heyday in the modernist era, when László Moholy-Nagy and others created abstract black-and-white assemblages. Ruff has now brought this cameraless technique into the 21st century, building a virtual darkroom and using a 3D program to aggregate diverse objects such as rods, lenses, and paper in manifold constellations. The software also lets him enhance the compositions in digital space with colored lighting. What we see is a polychrome play of shadows, refracted light, and the silhouettes of objects.In appropriating a traditional photographic technique and aesthetic, Ruff at once deconstructs them, harnessing the potentials of cutting-edge digital image processing to make his own rules and manipulating new parameters to achieve a drastic enlargement of the range of creative possibilities.
Thomas Ruff, „phg.s.01“, 2012/2020, Chromogenic print, image size: 24 × 18 cm, paper size: 30 × 24 cm, edition: 100 + 20 A.P., numbered and signed on the back, € 410.– plus shipping.