jpegs

Thomas Ruff

ThomasRuffjpegs

Thomas Ruff ,Essay by Bennett Simpson

11 1/8″ x 15″
132 pages
65 color images

Thomas Ruff is among the most important international photographers to emerge in the last fifteen years, and one of the most enigmatic and prolific of Bernd and Hilla Becher’s former students, a group that includes Andreas Gursky, Thomas Struth, Candida Höfer, and Axel Hutte.

In 2007, Ruff completed his monumental Jpegs series in which he explores the distribution and reception of images in the digital age. Starting with images he culls primarily from the Web, Ruff enlarges them to a gigantic scale, which exaggerates the pixel patterns until they become sublime geometric displays of color. Many of Ruff’s works in the series focus on idyllic, seemingly untouched landscapes, and conversely, scenes of war, and nature disturbed by human manipulation.

Taken together, these masterworks create an encyclopedic compendium of contemporary visual culture that also actively engages the history of landscape painting. A fittingly deluxe and oversized volume, Jpegs is the first monograph dedicated exclusively to the publication of Ruff’s remarkable series.

Nel-Ruff2-02G
Thomas Ruff, JPegs, 2005. C-print. 188 x 257 cm.
Nel-Ruff2-03G
Thomas Ruff, JPegs, 2004. C-print. 188 x 311 cm.
In an interview, the artist explained its history as follows : “Everything began with 9/11, the attack on the World Trade Center. That week […] I was in New York […]. I took many photos. When I got the negatives back from the lab in Germany, they were all blank. […] I finally downloaded a lot of images from the web. […] That was when I began to experiment with the ‘jpeg’ images […] The 9/11 images were iconic, but of terribly low resolution. With the […] jpeg structure and the results from work with image structures I managed to modify the terribly poorly resolved but still visually aesthetical images my way. ‘Terribly beautiful’ images they were.” In a nutshell, this is the idea behind jpegs. Ruff eventually expanded his jpegs into a rather large set, the subject of two large shows at Zwirner gallery, and the subject of Jpegs.
bb03
Jpeg, 2007 , C-Print with Diasec
72 7/8 x 98 1/4 inches 185.1 x 249.6 cm
Edition of 3
bd01
Jpeg, 2007 , C-Print with Diasec
104 3/4 x 72 7/8 inches 266.1 x 185.1 cm
an01
jpeg, 2004, C-Print with Diasec
Framed: 74.02 x 113.78 inches 188 x 289 cm

see JM Colberg’s review on Jpegs
Advertisements
1 comment

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: