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Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, The Destroyed Room, 1978 Transparency in lightbox, 62 ⅝ × 90 ¼ inches (159 × 229 cm)© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, The Destroyed Room, 1978

Transparency in lightbox, 62 ⅝ × 90 ¼ inches (159 × 229 cm)
© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, Picture for Women, 1979 Transparency in lightbox, 56 ⅛ × 80 ½ inches (142.5 × 204.5 cm)© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, Picture for Women, 1979

Transparency in lightbox, 56 ⅛ × 80 ½ inches (142.5 × 204.5 cm)
© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, Mimic, 1982 Transparency in lightbox, 78 × 90 inches (198 × 228.6 cm)© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, Mimic, 1982

Transparency in lightbox, 78 × 90 inches (198 × 228.6 cm)
© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, The Thinker, 1986 Transparency in lightbox, 85 ⅛ × 90 ¼ inches (216 × 229 cm)© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, The Thinker, 1986

Transparency in lightbox, 85 ⅛ × 90 ¼ inches (216 × 229 cm)
© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, The Drain, 1989 Transparency in lightbox, 90 ¼ × 114 ¼ inches (229 × 290 cm)© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, The Drain, 1989

Transparency in lightbox, 90 ¼ × 114 ¼ inches (229 × 290 cm)
© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, The Pine on the Corner, 1990 Transparency in lightbox, 46 ⅞ × 58 ¾ inches (119 × 149 cm)© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, The Pine on the Corner, 1990

Transparency in lightbox, 46 ⅞ × 58 ¾ inches (119 × 149 cm)
© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, Dead Troops Talk (a vision after an ambush of a Red Army patrol, nearMoqor, Afghanistan, winter 1986), 1992 Transparency in lightbox, 90 ¼ × 164 ¼ inches (229 × 417 cm)© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, Dead Troops Talk (a vision after an ambush of a Red Army patrol, near
Moqor, Afghanistan, winter 1986), 1992

Transparency in lightbox, 90 ¼ × 164 ¼ inches (229 × 417 cm)
© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, A Sudden Gust of Wind (after Hokusai), 1993 Transparency in lightbox, 90 ¼ × 148 ½ inches (229 × 377 cm)© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, A Sudden Gust of Wind (after Hokusai), 1993

Transparency in lightbox, 90 ¼ × 148 ½ inches (229 × 377 cm)
© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, Diagonal Composition, 1993 Transparency in lightbox, 15 ¾ × 18 ⅛ inches (40 × 46 cm)© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, Diagonal Composition, 1993

Transparency in lightbox, 15 ¾ × 18 ⅛ inches (40 × 46 cm)
© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, Volunteer, 1996 Gelatin silver print, 87 ¼ × 123 ¼ inches (221.5 × 313 cm)© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, Volunteer, 1996

Gelatin silver print, 87 ¼ × 123 ¼ inches (221.5 × 313 cm)
© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, Morning Cleaning, Mies van der Rohe Foundation, Barcelona, 1999 Transparency in lightbox, 73 ⅝ × 138 ¼ inches (187 × 351 cm)© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, Morning Cleaning, Mies van der Rohe Foundation, Barcelona, 1999

Transparency in lightbox, 73 ⅝ × 138 ¼ inches (187 × 351 cm)
© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, After “Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison, the Prologue, 1999–2001 Transparency in lightbox, 68 ½ × 98 ⅝ inches (174 × 250.5 cm)© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, After “Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison, the Prologue, 1999–2001

Transparency in lightbox, 68 ½ × 98 ⅝ inches (174 × 250.5 cm)
© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, Overpass, 2001 Transparency in lightbox, 84 ⅜ × 107 ⅝ inches (214.2 × 273.3 cm)© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, Overpass, 2001

Transparency in lightbox, 84 ⅜ × 107 ⅝ inches (214.2 × 273.3 cm)
© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, In front of a nightclub, 2006 Transparency in lightbox, 89 × 142 ⅛ inches (226 × 360.8 cm)© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, In front of a nightclub, 2006

Transparency in lightbox, 89 × 142 ⅛ inches (226 × 360.8 cm)
© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, Men move an engine block, 2008 Gelatin silver print, 54 ½ × 69 ½ inches (138.5 × 176.5 cm)© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, Men move an engine block, 2008

Gelatin silver print, 54 ½ × 69 ½ inches (138.5 × 176.5 cm)
© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, Knife throw, 2008 Color photograph, 72 ½ × 100 ⅞ inches (184 × 256 cm)© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, Knife throw, 2008

Color photograph, 72 ½ × 100 ⅞ inches (184 × 256 cm)
© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, Ivan Sayers, costume historian, lectures at the University Women’s Club, Vancouver, 7 Dec. 2009. Virginia Newton-Moss wears a British ensemble c. 1910, from Sayers’ collection., 2009 Color photograph, 88 ⅜ × 71 ⅞ inches (224.3 × 182.5 cm)© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, Ivan Sayers, costume historian, lectures at the University Women’s Club, Vancouver, 7 Dec. 2009. Virginia Newton-Moss wears a British ensemble c. 1910, from Sayers’ collection., 2009

Color photograph, 88 ⅜ × 71 ⅞ inches (224.3 × 182.5 cm)
© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, Boy falls from tree, 2010 Color photograph, 120 ¼ × 89 inches (305.3 × 226 cm)© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, Boy falls from tree, 2010

Color photograph, 120 ¼ × 89 inches (305.3 × 226 cm)
© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, Young man wet with rain, 2011 Gelatin silver print, 58 ⅞ × 108 ⅜ inches (149.6 × 275.2 cm)© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, Young man wet with rain, 2011

Gelatin silver print, 58 ⅞ × 108 ⅜ inches (149.6 × 275.2 cm)
© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, Boxing, 2011 Color photograph, 84 ⅝ × 116 ⅛ inches (215 × 295 cm)© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, Boxing, 2011

Color photograph, 84 ⅝ × 116 ⅛ inches (215 × 295 cm)
© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, Monologue, 2013 Color photograph, 94 ½ × 111 ⅛ inches (240 × 282.3 cm)© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, Monologue, 2013

Color photograph, 94 ½ × 111 ⅛ inches (240 × 282.3 cm)
© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, Changing room, 2014 Inkjet print, 78 ⅝ × 43 inches (199.5 × 109 cm)© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, Changing room, 2014

Inkjet print, 78 ⅝ × 43 inches (199.5 × 109 cm)
© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, Mask maker, 2015 Inkjet print, 65 ⅞ × 53 inches (167.4 × 134.5 cm)© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, Mask maker, 2015

Inkjet print, 65 ⅞ × 53 inches (167.4 × 134.5 cm)
© Jeff Wall

About

I begin by not photographing.
—Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall’s work synthesizes the essentials of photography with elements from other art forms—including painting, cinema, and literature—in a complex mode that he calls “cinematography.” His pictures range from classical reportage to elaborate constructions and montages, usually produced at the larger scale traditionally identified with painting.

Wall was born in 1946 in Vancouver, Canada, where he still lives. He became involved with photography in the 1960s—the heyday of Conceptual art—and by the mid-1970s he had extended Conceptualism’s spirit of experimentation into his new version of pictorial photography. His pictures were made as backlit color transparencies, a medium identified at the time with publicity rather than photographic art. These works had a startling effect when exhibited in galleries and museums, playing a part in the establishment of color as an important aspect of the aesthetics of photography.

Some of Wall’s early pictures evoke the history of image making by overtly referring to other artworks: The Destroyed Room (1978) explores themes of violence and eroticism inspired by Eugène Delacroix’s monumental painting The Death of Sardanapalus (1827), while Picture for Women (1979) recalls Édouard Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-Bergère (1882) and brings the implications of that famous painting into the context of the cultural politics of the late 1970s. These two pictures are models of a thread in Wall’s work that the artist calls “blatant artifice”: pictures that foreground the theatricality of both their subject and their production. Dead Troops Talk (1991–92), a large image depicting a hallucinatory moment from the Soviet war in Afghanistan, is a central example, and was one of the first works to employ digital-imaging technology, which has since transformed the landscape of photography. Wall was a pioneer in exploring this dimension and remains at the forefront of its development.

A second key direction in Wall’s work is what he calls the “near documentary.” These are pictures that resemble documentary photographs in style and manner but are made in collaboration with the people who appear in them. Wall works mostly with nonprofessional models in a way that recalls the neorealism of the Italian cinema of the 1950s and 1960s, creating images of everyday moments charged with complex meanings. By depicting incidents that he witnesses but does not attempt to photograph in the moment, he opens up formal and dramatic possibilities for pictures that, he has said, “contemplate the effects and meanings of documentary photographs.”

Since the mid-1990s Wall has expanded his repertoire, working with traditional black-and-white prints and, more recently, inkjet color prints.

Fairs, Events & Announcements

The Extreme Present

Exhibition

The Extreme Present

Opening reception: Tuesday, December 3, 5–8pm
December 4–8, 2019
Moore Building, Miami

Gagosian is pleased to announce The Extreme Present, the fifth in a series of annual exhibitions at the Moore Building in the Miami Design District during Art Basel Miami Beach, presented by Gagosian and Jeffrey Deitch. The Extreme Present will explore artists’ reactions to the conditions of our accelerating and increasingly complex world. The title is inspired by The Age of Earthquakes: A Guide to the Extreme Present, a book by Shumon Basar, Douglas Coupland, and Hans Ulrich Obrist, published in 2015. Their provocative thesis addresses the rapidly evolving digital era, half a century after Marshall McLuhan’s groundbreaking study on technology’s influence on culture, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, in which he coined the phrase “the medium is the message.” Works in this exhibition explore concepts of media, communication, togetherness, and isolation.

Download the full press release (PDF)

The Extreme Present

Jeff Wall, Summer Afternoons, 2013 © Jeff Wall 

Tour

Jeff Wall

Thursday, June 27, 2019, 6:30pm
Gagosian, West 21st Street, New York

Artist James Welling and film director and writer Jane Weinstock will lead an exhibition tour of Jeff Wall, currently on view at Gagosian, West 21st Street, New York. Welling and Weinstock will offer their unique perspectives on various photographs, with time for questions at the end. The pair recently wrote an essay for the exhibition catalogue accompanying Jeff Wall’s show currently on view at the George Economou Collection, Athens. The event has reached capacity. To join the wait list, contact nytours@gagosian.com

Jeff Wall, Summer Afternoons, 2013 © Jeff Wall 

Jeff Wall, Weightlifter, 2015 © Jeff Wall

Visit

Frieze Chelsea Night

Friday, May 3, 2019, 6–8pm
Gagosian, West 24th Street and West 21st Street, New York

Galleries and non-profits located in Chelsea will remain open to Frieze audiences after hours. New paintings by Jonas Wood will be on view at Gagosian, West 24th Street, New York, and Jeff Wall’s first exhibition with the gallery will be on view at Gagosian, West 21st Street, New York.

Jeff Wall, Weightlifter, 2015 © Jeff Wall

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Museum Exhibitions

Jeff Wall, After “Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison, the Prologue, 1999–2001 © Jeff Wall

On View

Jeff Wall

Through April 2020
George Economou Collection, Athens
www.thegeorgeeconomoucollection.com

This exhibition is a focused survey of the artist’s photographs and light boxes, including some of his best-known tableaux. Works from the late 1980s to those made in recent years reflect Jeff Wall’s use of different historical genres.

Jeff Wall, After “Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison, the Prologue, 1999–2001 © Jeff Wall

Installation view, Fiçcão e fabricação: Fotografia de arquitetura após a revolução digital, Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology, Lisbon, March 20–August 19, 2019. Artwork, left to right © Jeff Wall, © Gregory Crewdson

Closed

Fiçcão e fabricação
Fotografia de arquitetura após a revolução digital

March 20–August 19, 2019
Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology, Lisbon
www.maat.pt

This exhibition, whose English title is Fiction and Fabrication: Photography of Architecture after the Digital Turn, looks at artists who have created and engaged with imagery of architecture. It examines how digital manipulation has enabled a fictionalization of architectural spaces, and explores architecture’s role in an expanded practice of photography within contemporary art. Work by Gregory Crewdson, Andreas Gursky, and Jeff Wall is included.

Installation view, Fiçcão e fabricação: Fotografia de arquitetura após a revolução digital, Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology, Lisbon, March 20–August 19, 2019. Artwork, left to right © Jeff Wall, © Gregory Crewdson

Jeff Wall, Pawnshop, 2009 © Jeff Wall

Closed

Jeff Wall
MEN

October 9, 2018–January 28, 2019
MARe/Muzeul de Artă Recentă, Bucharest, Romania
www.mare.ro

The inaugural show at Bucharest’s new museum MARe/Museum of Recent Art is Jeff Wall’s exhibition MEN. The show comprises some of Wall’s most iconic works from the 1980s to the present day.

Jeff Wall, Pawnshop, 2009 © Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, Approach, 2014 © Jeff Wall

Closed

Jeff Wall in
Pedro Costa: Company

October 12, 2018–January 27, 2019
Fundação de Serralves, Porto, Portugal
www.serralves.pt

This exhibition features paintings, sculptures, drawings, books, poems, and documents that shed light on the sources and influences of the distinctive poetic language that manifest in Pedro Costa’s cinematographic vision. Work by Jeff Wall is included.

Jeff Wall, Approach, 2014 © Jeff Wall

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Press

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