Two German Photographers, Axel Hutte: Architecture and Thomas Ruff: PortraitsJan 19 — Mar 16, 1991


The exhibition presented in the East and West Galleries included the celebrated, monumental works of two young photographers emerging in the international photography and modern art arenas.  Axel Hutte uses architectural photography to explore the formal and spatial relationships of European stonework, ruins and landscape, while Thomas Ruff creates landscape- like portraits of friends and acquaintances, many who were fellow artists or students and graduates of the Dusseldorf Academy.

Axel Hutte’s works could be considered architectural- landscapes because of their environmental nature.  Hutte combines the element of picture reporting with historical and theoretical references.  His architectural work has been compared to early Renaissance architecture prospects in their allegorical treatment of the picture content.  The final prints are largely 87x61” to 98x64” and are made from 8x10” color negatives.  Hutte’s photographs reveal a definite sense of place, but represent only fragments of the subjects therein-- ruins, stonework, trees and plants.

Thomas Ruff’s large-scale color portraits of men and women, largely in his own age group-- 25 to 35 years of age-- are recorded with flat, intensely even and neutral lighting that gives not so much as a hint of shadow and renders every facial impurity and blemish.  Ruff’s subjects are given no instructions; instead, the photographer suggests the sitters project themselves as they wish to be seen or see themselves.  Ruff’s portraits are made with 8x10” color negatives.  The final prints, largely 85x65”, are mounted to plexiglass and encased inside wooden frames.

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