Thomas Ruff - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Friday, October 16, 2009 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Galerie Mai 36, Zurich; Private Collection, New York

  • Literature

    M. Winzen, Thomas Ruff 1979 to the Present, Cologne, 2001, p. 240, no. NUD 082 (illustrated); M. Houellebecq, Nudes, Berlin, 2003, p. 57 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Around 1998 Thomas Ruff began to work on nude photography and also began experimenting with computer generated, abstract pictures made of pixels. Through his internet research into the genre of nude photography, he came across the field of pornography. Due to the poor resolution of these pictures on the World Wide Web, their pixel structure resembled the one he had been experimenting with. He decided to apply the same technique to the internet pictures, processing them so that the pixel structure was only just barely visible. He used fuzziness and other blurring techniques, occasionally modifying the colouring and removing intrusive details. The selection of source pictures was based on such considerations as composition, lighting, colouring, or representation.
    'Thomas Ruff's nudes forcefully address the theme of our pre-rational curiosity about pornographic depictions, a curiosity that is only secondarily constrained by morals and conventions. Although in many ways the nudes are a consistent continuation of Ruff's previous series, as treatments of net pornography they still address an independent, complex, and clearly contemporary field of perception between body and eye, pre-reflexive curiosity and fetishistic fixation, physical excitement and mechanical prosthesis, secret desire and inconsequential anonymity, individual exhibitionism and the camera gaze that enlists and sexualizes the body.' (M. Winzen, A Credible Invention of Reality in Thomas Ruff: 1979 to the Present, Cologne, 2001, p. 151)    


Nude qaf06

Chromogenic colour print mounted with Diasec face in the artist's wooden frame.
153 x 110 cm. (60 1/4 x 43 1/4 in).
Signed, dated 'Th Ruff 2001' and numbered of five on the reverse. This work is from an edition of five plus two artist's proofs.

£30,000 - 40,000 ‡ ♠

Sold for £46,850

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

17 Oct 2009