• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 9218

    Contemporary Art and Photoworks

    23 October 2001, London,King Street

  • Lot 236

    THOMAS RUFF (B. 1958)

    Sterne 02h 56m - 65°

    Price Realised  


    THOMAS RUFF (B. 1958)
    Sterne 02h 56m - 65°
    Colour coupler print in artist frame. 1989. Signed, titled, dated and numbered '1/2' in pencil on the verso.
    99¼ x 70 7/8in. (252 x 180cm.)
    Executed in 1989, this work is number one from an edition of two.
    All works from the 'Sterne' series were enlarged from negatives from the 'ESO/SRC Atlas of the Southern Sky'.

    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    In 1989, Thomas Ruff acquired the entire archives ('Catalogue of the Southern Sky', including 600 negatives) of the European Southern Observatory in the Andes in Chile. These photographs of the stars, taken with a specially designed telescopic lens, are described and catalogued with the precise time of day and exact geographic position. From these photographs, Thomas Ruff selected specific details which he then enlarged to a uniform size. He employed these scientific documents without any claim to scientific thoroughness or methodology, nor with any play on the romantic associations of the sky and heavens.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.
    This lot is subject to Collection and Storage Charges.


    Galerie Nikolaus Sonne, Berlin, where acquired by the present owner in 1992.


    Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, 'Thomas Ruff. Portretten Huizen Sterren', Nov. 1989 - Jan. 1990. This exhibition travelled to Grenoble, Centre National d'Art Contemporain - Magasin Grenoble, May-June 1990; and Zurich, Kunsthalle, Aug.-Oct. 1990.