Thomas Ruff is an internationally renowned German photographer.
During his studies in Düsseldorf, Ruff developed his method of conceptual serial photography. His initial focus was the interiors of German living quarters, with typical features of the 1950s to 1970s. This was followed by similar views of buildings and portraits of friends and acquaintances. These are typically shown with emotionless expressions, in very large, high-resolution passport-style portraits.
Thomas Ruff's building portraits are likewise serial, and have been edited digitally to remove obstructing details – a typifying method, which gives the images an exemplary character.
Ruff has been testing the limits of his medium for more than two decades, completing a dozen series of photographs that range from seemingly banal images of streets and buildings to computer-generated prints of sensuous psychedelic colour fields.
Thomas Ruff insists that his photographs capture only 'the surface of things'.