Portrait

A work made of chromogenic print, edition 2/3.

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  • A work made of chromogenic print, edition 2/3.

Date:

1988

Artist:

Thomas Ruff
German, born 1958

About this artwork

Thomas Ruff studied photography at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf from 1977 to 1985, under renowned photographer Bernd Becher. In 1981 he began taking portraits of his contemporaries in order to create an “official portrait of [his] generation,” a generation marked by a pervasive culture of surveillance. By 1988 Ruff had established strict parameters for the series: frontal view, bust portrait composition, neutral background, even lighting, and a blank facial expression. The resulting portraits resemble mug shots or passport photographs in their descriptive uniformity and lack of emotional content; they are deliberately bereft of information about the sitter&#8217s emotional state, belief system, or identity. Printed at great scale, the sitter’s visage becomes disorienting, easy to scrutinize yet devoid of anything but surface information.

Currently Off View

Photography

Artist

Thomas Ruff

Title

Portrait

Origin

United States

Date

1988

Medium

Chromogenic print, edition 2/3

Dimensions

164.5 x 130.2 x 3 cm (frame)

Credit Line

Gift of Lannan Foundation

Reference Number

1997.126

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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