Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall adopts the 19th-century poet Baudelaire’s famous description of one of his painter contemporaries as a “painter of modern life” to describe his own very different work: huge transparencies mounted onto light boxes which diffuse a brilliant glow of white light evenly through his photographs of contemporary urban scenes and “constructed” social situations. Jeff Wall is foremost among the pioneering artists who since the late 1960s have brought photography to the forefront of contemporary art. His construced images employ the latest sophisticated technology in the creation of compelling tableaux which are evocative of subjects ranging from Hollywood cinema to 19th-century history painting. When exhibited in their glowing light boxes they evoke both the seduction of the cinema screen and the physical presence of minimalist sculptures such as Dan Flavin’s fluorescent light installations or Donald Judd’s metal and perspex wall reliefs. All of these elements – traditional figurative painting, cinema, Minimalism, Conceptual art, documentary photography – are consciously evoked and explored in Wall’s work. Associated closely since the late 1960s with Conceptual artists such as Dan Graham, with whom he collaborated on “The Children’s Pavilion” (1988-93), Wall has engaged at a sophisticated level with theories of representation and its social dimensions both as an artist and as a theoretical writer on contemporary art and culture. Wall’s own writings and the Survey essay by one of Europe’s most distinguished contemporary art critics, Thierry de Duve, are complemented in this revised expanded edition by an update essay from the French art critic and historian of photography Jean-Francois Chevrier, who examines Wall’s work from 1995 to the present.

Text: de Duve Thierry, Groys Boris et al. cm 25,5×29,5; pp. 158; COL; paperback. Publisher: Phaidon Press, London, 2002.

ISBN: 9780714839516| 0714839515

ID: AM-7324

Product Description

Jeff Wall adopts the 19th-century poet Baudelaire’s famous description of one of his painter contemporaries as a “painter of modern life” to describe his own very different work: huge transparencies mounted onto light boxes which diffuse a brilliant glow of white light evenly through his photographs of contemporary urban scenes and “constructed” social situations. Jeff Wall is foremost among the pioneering artists who since the late 1960s have brought photography to the forefront of contemporary art. His construced images employ the latest sophisticated technology in the creation of compelling tableaux which are evocative of subjects ranging from Hollywood cinema to 19th-century history painting. When exhibited in their glowing light boxes they evoke both the seduction of the cinema screen and the physical presence of minimalist sculptures such as Dan Flavin’s fluorescent light installations or Donald Judd’s metal and perspex wall reliefs. All of these elements – traditional figurative painting, cinema, Minimalism, Conceptual art, documentary photography – are consciously evoked and explored in Wall’s work. Associated closely since the late 1960s with Conceptual artists such as Dan Graham, with whom he collaborated on “The Children’s Pavilion” (1988-93), Wall has engaged at a sophisticated level with theories of representation and its social dimensions both as an artist and as a theoretical writer on contemporary art and culture. Wall’s own writings and the Survey essay by one of Europe’s most distinguished contemporary art critics, Thierry de Duve, are complemented in this revised expanded edition by an update essay from the French art critic and historian of photography Jean-Francois Chevrier, who examines Wall’s work from 1995 to the present.