German artist Thomas Ruff reveals his first major London retrospective
What is the purpose of a photographic image? It’s a question that could inspire 1,000 dull seminars or, in the hands of Thomas Ruff, one cracking exhibition
(or actually, two). The German artist, who has a retrospective opening at the Whitechapel Gallery and a simultaneous “intervention” on display at the
National Portrait Gallery, both in London, has always tested the boundaries of photographic formalities, from inserting himself into his own still lives, to blowing passport-style photographs into bewitching formal portraits, and exploring the beauty of distorted jpegs. His oeuvre is vast and varied, but his inquiring mind and decisive eye are powerfully consistent.
— Thomas Ruff, 27 September–21 January 2018, Whitechapel Gallery, London E1; whitechapelgallery.org