In the early 1980s, Thomas Ruff devoted himself entirely to photography and was a student of Bernd Becher at the Art Academy in Düsseldorf. His first exhibition was in 1981. He lives and works in Düsseldorf.
His work is based on a series of photos of houses built by Mies van der Rohe in Krefeld between 1928 and 1930. He photographs them coldly, with no special effects, and without trying to highlight the new or old aspects.
The first series was an order made during the restoration of the Esters and Lange de Krefeld houses. His aim was to visually capture all the architectural constructions of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in Europe. The images that make up the series are the façades and interiors of the various buildings. While some are faithful representations, others have been manipulated to the point of being unrecognisable.
National Centre of Photography, Paris, National Centre of Contemporary Art, Grenoble, State Museum of Amsterdam.