Thomas Ruff

Photographs 1979 - 2017

  • Porträt (P Stadtbäumer) 1988 [detail] C-print 210 × 165 cm © Thomas Ruff  Courtesy David Zwirner London/New York

    Thomas Ruff, Porträt (P Stadtbäumer) 1988 [detail], C-print, 210 × 165 cm. © Thomas Ruff Courtesy David Zwirner London/New York

  • Thomas Ruff, 1982_L

    Thomas Ruff, L’Empereur 06 (The Emperor 06), 1982, C-print, 30.2 × 40 cm, © Thomas Ruff

  • Thomas Ruff_2007_Substrat31III_resize

    Thomas Ruff, Substrat 31 III (Substrate 31 III), 2007, C-print, 186 × 268 cm, © Thomas Ruff

  • Thomas Ruff - Prix Pictet Talk

    Thomas Ruff, Haus Nr.11 III (House Nr.11 III), 1990, C-print, 193 × 240 cm, © Thomas Ruff

27 Sep 2017 - 21 Jan 2018

Galleries 1, 8 & 9

Monday Closed
Tuesday 11am–6pm
Wednesday 11am–6pm
Thursday 11am–9pm
Friday 11am–6pm
Saturday 11am–6pm
Sunday 11am–6pm

Thomas Ruff: Photographs 1979 – 2017

27 September 2017 – 21 January 2018

Cosmology, suburbia, nudity, utopianism, catastrophe – these are some of the subjects that Thomas Ruff (b. 1958, Germany) addresses in his photographic series, which for almost four decades have investigated the status of the image in contemporary culture. This exhibition will draw from the full range of Ruff’s output: from his acclaimed Portraits – passport-style portraits, reproduced on a huge scale and revealing every surface detail of their subjects, to his most recent press++ photographs, drawing on newspaper archives from the era of the space race and Hollywood starlets.

★★★★★ London Evening Standard

★★★★ Time Out


Please note that this exhibition contains some nudity.

About Thomas Ruff

Born in 1958 in Zell am Harmersbach, Germany, Thomas Ruff attended the renowned Staatliche Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf from 1977 to 1985. Thomas has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions internationally, including recently Object Relations at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, a survey at the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo and 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa both also in 2016 and Thomas Ruff: Lichten at the Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (S.M.A.K.) in Ghent in 2014. Ruff was recently selected as a finalist for the Prix Pictet photography award. He lives and works in Düsseldorf.

Thomas Ruff - Prix Pictet Talk

Prix Pictet Conversations on Photography

Thu 28 Sep 2017, 7pm
£9.50/£7.50 concs

Thomas Ruff is joined by Whitechapel Gallery Director Iwona Blazwick to discuss his work.


Generously supported by:
David Zwirner, London/New York

The Thomas Ruff Exhibtion Circle
Maryam and Edward Eisler
Konrad Fischer Galerie
Galleria Lia Rumma, Milan/Naples
Mai 36 Galerie Zurich
Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle
Sprüth Magers
And those who wish to remain

With additional support from
Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen
e.V. Stuttgart

Artworks Insurance Partner

Transport Partner

To coincide with the opening of the Thomas Ruff exhibition at Whitechapel Gallery, a focused selection of Ruff’s acclaimed, monumental portraits of the late 1980s will also go on display as an intervention at the National Portrait Gallery.

Find out more

Read the press release

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