Jeff Wall: Works and Collected Writings
Essay by Michael Newman. Writings by Jeff Wall.
Some of the carefully staged and composed images here are digitally altered, and almost all of them were originally displayed in backlit boxes. If those strategies sound familiar, you can thank Jeff Wall, born in Vancouver in 1946 and widely recognized as one of the most adventurous and inventive artists of his generation. For more than 20 years, his outstanding pioneering work has contributed significantly to placing the medium of photography in the midst of contemporary art. He uses it to explore a wide range of social and political themes, including urban violence, racism, poverty, gender and class, history, memory and representation. His compositions in both color and black-and-white maintain a constant dialogue with nineteenth-century genre painting, and truly make him, in Charles Baudelaire's expression, "a painter of modern life." This substantial monograph collects Wall's works alongside his writings in 300 pages featuring almost 150 illustrations.