Max Ruf’s paintings condense the canvas into a form of temporality. Shifting from space to time, the imagined is never the same as the experienced. The artist’s view towards a complex pictorial concept of time is both analytical and aesthetic, not understanding his surroundings as a linear experience of time but rather evoking time lost and coagulated.
Finding new modes of expression through abstraction come to the fore in fluent transitions. Pictorial forms are extracted from the outside world and brought onto the canvas to create a new spatial continuum. The colouring, constitution and consistency, coupled with the associated formal regularities of the composition no longer illustrate the outer appearance of the object on which it was obtained.
Max Ruf uses his perception as an occupation of time, as an absorbing and subsequent transporting of impressions. Images to be formed within a set frame. As an artist, one must always fend for oneself to penetrate to one’s inner truths. The outer as much as the pictorial world remain vividly related to one another and yet are parallel universes that co-exist according to their own laws without touching each other.
Ruf’s paintings conceive the inconceivable. Their strongly coloured planes and bold lines keep the viewer’s gaze in perpetual motion and convey an idea of time that sees itself as a dynamic system of self-perpetuating force. Out of an inner necessity and under the conditions of his own biography, Ruf creates a pictorial experience of time, which, in the knowledge of inner active forces, can nevertheless be illustrated again as fundamental, comprehensive, inexhaustible and eternal.
Text by Nils Emmerichs
Max Ruf (* Germany, 1982, living in Berlin and Lisbon) completed his MA in Painting at the Royal College of Art, London in 2013 and holds a diploma in Visual Communication from the University of Applied Sciences, Trier, Germany.
Recent solo exhibitions include Max Ruf, Galerie Wig, Berlin (2022), Volumen und Kapazität, die Treppe, Basel (2021), Radio, Figura Avulsa, Lisbon (2020), Forward, Union Pacific, London (2019), Allergische Instrumente, LISZT, Berlin (2019), Zero, Svit, Prague (2018), Nimbys, Zabriskie Point, Geneva (2017) and Description of a Castle, The Loon, Tronto (2016).
His work was shown on various occasions in galleries and institutions such as Kunsthalle Freeport, Porto; Fantazia, Buenos Aires; Kunstverein Ludwigshafen; Forde, Geneva; Glasgow International; Arp Museum, Bonn; Institut fuer Bienenzucht, London; Postcodes at Casa do Povo, Sao Paulo; ICA London and UKS, Oslo;
He participated residencies such as Schloss Balmoral, New York, Lucile Avenue, Los Angeles, The Loon, Toronto and Faap, Sao Paulo.
(Time) is the third solo exhibition with Nuno Centeno