This edition was specially produced by the artist to accompany the 2016 Thomas Ruff exhibitions at the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo and the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa.
From the series, Photogram.
The word “photogram,” the title of this series, refers to a photographic technique developed by László Moholy-Nagy and others in the late 1920s. Without using a camera, the technique involves placing objects on photosensitive paper and capturing the shadows and light as concrete forms. Ruff began using the approach in his work in 2012. Traditional photograms could not be retouched and were limited to monochromatic expressions, but Ruff introduced the element of digital processing, which had long been a part of his practice. In a virtual darkroom inside the computer, he positions and colors objects, creating works by freely manipulating images.
From the series, Sterne.
The Sterne series is the first of several works related to outer space. Ruff’s pursuit of the outside world through photography, which had begun by directing his lens at the interiors of familiar environments, continued with him turning to outer space, which had been a subject of interest since his childhood. These photographs of an immense starry sky are based on negatives taken with a high-performance astronomical telescope at an observatory that was established in South America by the ESO (European Southern Observatory). In terms of Ruff’s practice, the work is also notable as the first time he made use of existing images as a material.