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Thomas Ruff’s Solo Exhibition “d.o.pe.” on View Through April 13, 2024, at PKM Gallery

Thomas Ruff, d.o.pe.10, 2022. Colaris print on velour carpet, 267 x 200 cm ©Thomas Ruff. Courtesy of the artist & PKM Gallery.

PKM Gallery presents its first exhibition of 2024, “d.o.pe.”, a solo exhibition by contemporary photographer Thomas Ruff (b. 1958), on view through April 13. This exhibition, the first in Korea in 20 years, will feature his latest photographic series of the same name with the exhibition title, which will be shown for the first time in Asia.

d.o.pe. (2022-), presented in this exhibition, is a photographic series of Ruff based on fractal structures, in which self-similar units unfold on giant tapestry screens up to 290 cm long. The title ‘d.o.pe.’ is a reference to Aldous Huxley’s (1894-1963) The Doors of Perception (1954), an autobiographical essay in which Huxley suggests that humans can expand their consciousness and transcend themselves through chemical or biological reactions. Ruff’s work echoes Huxley’s ideas, projecting fractal structures found in nature and man-made objects in psychedelic form. In this way, the difference between the real and the constructed becomes irrelevant, and the viewer experiences a visual transcendence.

German-born Thomas Ruff began his career in the late 1980s as a leading member of Düsseldorf’s Becher School of Photography, and since then he has presented around 25 photographic series, including his most famous works Porträts, Nudes, and Substrate. It would be no exaggeration to say that his 40-year oeuvre parallels the history of photography in the 20th and 21st centuries, as he has constantly explored and challenged new techniques and concepts in photography at the center of the transition from analog to digital. From classical portraits to images collected and edited from data floating on the Internet, from satellite images to digital images automatically generated by algorithms, his sensitive photographic work has expanded our horizons and continues to attract attention on the international stage.

Ruff has exhibited at leading art institutions around the world, including solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the National Portrait Gallery, London; the Victoria and Albert Museum; the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; and K20, Düsseldorf; and group exhibitions at Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna; Haus der Kunst, Munich; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Basel; and Tate Modern, London. His work is in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, the Metropolitan Museum, Washington, D.C., and the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, among others. He currently lives and works in Düsseldorf.

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