Zycles + Cassini

Thomas-RuffThomas Ruff, Cassini 10, 2009

Will Thomas Ruff every stop?

He seems to just keep going and going. Not that he’s picked up a camera in the past ten years but his use of appropriated imagery is incessant. It was only a matter of time before Ruff got his hands deep down into the Nasa Archive.

His most recent work combines two distinct elements, Zycles + Cassini:

thomas_ruff_mai36_08Thomas Ruff, Zycles 3048, 2009

Zycles consist of large-format inkjet prints on canvas. I wouldn’t dare call them photographs. According to a press release:

“The images originate in mathematics, or more precisely, in antiquated 19th century books on electro-magnetism that portrayed magnetic fields on copperplates. Thomas Ruff was particularly interested in translating these drawings into three-dimensional space. For this he used a 3D computer programme that translated mathematic formulas into complex, three-dimensional linear structures.”

cassini-01-2008Thomas Ruff, Cassini 1, 2008

Cassini, on the other hand, consists of digitally processed and appropriated images of the planet Saturn and its moons from the NASA website originally taken by the Cassini spacecraft. I’m really not surprised that Ruff took this direction, it’s almost the obvious thing to do but I must commend him. As they say, he thought of it first.

I started thinking of checking the Atlas to see if Richter had included any pictures of the moon or outer space, but only found one newspaper photo of what appears to be the moon’s surface and a couple of images of what appear to be nighttime starry skies. I don’t know why I always associate Ruff with Richter but in my mind they are forever linked and would probably make for a fascinating exhibition.

By the way, Gerhard Richter has one of the most comprehensive and exhausting websites I have ever seen. It seems quite unique, especially for a painter of his caliber, so definitely check it out when you have lots of extra time on your hands.


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