|Product Details |
From Publishers Weekly
A Canadian photographer justly celebrated over the last 30 or so years for his heightened, meticulous, pre-Photoshop photomontage tableaux, Wall won the prestigious Hasselblad award in 2002, one of the benefits of which is this gorgeous retrospective volume. The book eschews some of Wall's most famous, large-scale lightbox-enhanced productions for quieter yet deeply affecting works from every stage of his career, with an emphasis on more recent work, including Diagonal Composition No. 3 (2000), which takes its diagonals from a fetid mop and two worn spots on a linoleum floor, and Night (2001), in which one small, prone figure can barely be made out, lying with her back against a concrete wall, through a multitude of grays and blacks. Most spectacular is Wall's bringing to life of a scene from Ralph Ellison's The Invisible Man, where the narrator sits in a basement room, ceiling crammed with lit light bulbs, typing. With its sumptuous, full-page recto reproductions (with facing blank pages), the book gives Wall's work plenty of space to make itself felt and makes a good companion to a larger recent selection from Prestel.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Jeff Wall was born in 1946 in Vancouver, Canada, where he still lives and works. Though he has practiced photography since the 60s, his work has been most widely exhibited in the last two decades. Recent solo shows have been mounted in Frankfurt, Montreal, Basel, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., and this past summer he was included in the Documenta for the fourth time. The subject of many monographs, he is also the author of numerous critical texts.
Trained as an art historian, Jeff Wall has been working for over 25 years on his expansive light boxes of staged scenes. These backlit photographic transparencies are set in cases generally associated with advertising display; but, instead of advertisements, Wall fills them with moments of everyday life that usually go unacknowledged: workers restoring a historic building, a janitor mopping a floor, a kitchen flooded with sunlight, the side of a house in the prairies. Carefully staged and meticulously composed, often over and over again until the perfect image has been achieved, Wall's images have explored a wide range of social and political themes, including urban violence, racism, poverty, gender and class conflicts, history, memory, and representation. Like the great French realist painters of the 19th century, Wall is, in the words of Charles Baudelaire, "a painter of modern life."
Hardcover, 10.5 x 10.2 in. 156 pages, 28 color, 7 Tritone illustrations