Menu

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

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

Jeff Wall, Boy falls from tree, 2010

Color photograph, 89 × 120 ¼ inches (226 × 305.3 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

Jeff Wall, Weightlifter, 2015 Gelatin silver print, 94 ⅛ × 118 ⅜ inches (239 × 300.5 cm), edition of 3 + 1 AP© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, Weightlifter, 2015

Gelatin silver print, 94 ⅛ × 118 ⅜ inches (239 × 300.5 cm), edition of 3 + 1 AP
© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, Mother of pearl, 2016 Inkjet print, 23 ⅝ × 27 ¾ inches (60 × 70.5 cm), edition of 8 + 3 AP© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, Mother of pearl, 2016

Inkjet print, 23 ⅝ × 27 ¾ inches (60 × 70.5 cm), edition of 8 + 3 AP
© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, Parent child, 2018 Inkjet print, 86 ⅝ × 108 ¼ inches (220 × 275 cm), edition of 3 + 1 AP© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, Parent child, 2018

Inkjet print, 86 ⅝ × 108 ¼ inches (220 × 275 cm), edition of 3 + 1 AP
© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, Man at a mirror, 2019 Inkjet print, 50 ⅜ × 58 ⅜ inches (128 × 148.2 cm), edition of 4 + 1 AP© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, Man at a mirror, 2019

Inkjet print, 50 ⅜ × 58 ⅜ inches (128 × 148.2 cm), edition of 4 + 1 AP
© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, Event, 2021 Inkjet print, 84 ⅜ × 63 inches (214.3 × 160 cm), edition of 3 + 1 AP© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, Event, 2021

Inkjet print, 84 ⅜ × 63 inches (214.3 × 160 cm), edition of 3 + 1 AP
© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, Sunseeker, 2021 Inkjet print, 45 ¼ × 52 ⅛ inches (115 × 132.5 cm), edition of 4 + 1 AP© Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, Sunseeker, 2021

Inkjet print, 45 ¼ × 52 ⅛ inches (115 × 132.5 cm), edition of 4 + 1 AP
© 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.

Jeff Wall, Low tide gull shadow, 2020, inkjet print, 23 x 26 inches (58.5 x 66 cm)

In Conversation
Jeff Wall and Gary Dufour

Jeff Wall speaks to Gary Dufour about his new photographs, made on the beachfront of English Bay in Vancouver, Canada, that record the endlessly varied and shifting patterns created in seaweed by the ebb and flow of the tide.

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 ⅛ × 164 ⅛ inches (229 × 417 cm)

Death Valley ’89: Jeff Wall vs. Photography

Daniel Spaulding considers formal and technical developments in the photographer’s work against the background of global shifts of power and politics, specifically the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

Josh Kline, Skittles, 2014, commercial fridge, lightbox, and blended liquids in bottles, 86 ½ × 127 ½ × 41 inches (219.7 × 323.9 × 104.1 cm) © Josh Kline. Photo:  © Timothy Schenck

Laws of Motion

Catalyzed by Laws of Motion—a group exhibition pairing artworks from the 1980s on by Jeff Koons, Cady Noland, Rosemarie Trockel, and Jeff Wall with contemporary sculptures by Josh Kline and Anicka Yi—Wyatt Allgeier discusses the convergences and divergences in these artists’ practices with an eye to the economic worlds from which they spring.

Installation view of Jeff Wall exhibition at Gagosian, New York

Jeff Wall: The Space of Photography

Jeff Wall leads a tour through his most recent exhibition in New York.

Gagosian Quarterly Summer 2019

Now available
Gagosian Quarterly Summer 2019

The Summer 2019 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring a detail from Afrylic by Ellen Gallagher on its cover.

Jeff Wall: The World as It Appears

Jeff Wall: The World as It Appears

The artist speaks with David Rimanelli about his newest works, the physicality of photography, and the persistence of certain motifs throughout his career.

Unreal Americans

Unreal Americans

Benjamin Nugent reflects on questions of verisimilitude and American life in the group exhibition I Don’t Like Fiction, I Like History at Gagosian, Beverly Hills.

Andreas Gursky and Jeff Wall

In Conversation
Andreas Gursky and Jeff Wall

On the occasion of a major survey of Andreas Gursky’s work at the Hayward Gallery in London, Gursky and Jeff Wall discuss the state of photography and the evolution of the medium.

Fairs, Events & Announcements

Jeff Wall, Approach, 2014 © Jeff Wall

In Conversation

ICP Talks
Jeff Wall and David Campany

Wednesday, December 8, 2021, 6pm EST

As part of ICP Talks, an online lecture series organized by the International Center of Photography in New York, Jeff Wall will be joined by David Campany, ICP’s managing director of programs, in a discussion about the artist’s practice. Wall will consider how his interest in scale and the beholder in the exhibition space shape his image making as he moves between documentary and more cinematographic pictures. To join the event, purchase tickets at buy.acmeticketing.com.

Jeff Wall, Approach, 2014 © Jeff Wall

Jeff Koons, Bluebird Planter, 2010–16 © Jeff Koons

Art Fair

FIAC Online 2021
Printemps oublié

March 2–12, 2021

Gagosian is pleased to present Printemps oublié for the first online edition of FIAC. This curated presentation reflects the dual character of springtime as a reminder of past trials and the harbinger of a vibrant new season to come.

All the artworks will appear on the Gagosian website and a rotating selection will appear in the inaugural FIAC Online Viewing Rooms, from March 4 to 7.

Jeff Koons, Bluebird Planter, 2010–16 © Jeff Koons

Still from “Photographers in Focus: Jeff Wall.” Artwork © Jeff Wall

Video

Photographers in Focus
Jeff Wall

In this video, filmed during the installation of the exhibition Jeff Wall at Gagosian, West 21st Street, New York, Jeff Wall discusses the evolution of his process and the role of photography as both an art form and a documentary device. “Photographers in Focus” is a series produced by Nowness that turns the camera on photographers in action.

Still from “Photographers in Focus: Jeff Wall.” Artwork © Jeff Wall

See all News for Jeff Wall

Museum Exhibitions

Taryn Simon, Ronald Jones; Scene of the arrest, South Side, Chicago, Illinois; Served 8 years of a Death sentence for Murder and Rape, from the series The Innocents, 2002 © Taryn Simon

On View

True Pictures?
Zeitgenössische Fotografie aus Kanada und den USA

Through June 26, 2022
Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Austria
www.museumdermoderne.at

This group exhibition, whose subtitle translates to Contemporary Photography from Canada and the USA, presents work by more than thirty North American artists spanning three generations whose photography is informed by our digital age—both through their employment of digital technologies and in terms of their engagement with the “flood of images” that defines visual culture of the twenty-first century. This exhibition has traveled from the Sprengel Museum Hannover, Germany. Work by Gregory CrewdsonTaryn Simon, and Jeff Wall is included. 

Taryn Simon, Ronald Jones; Scene of the arrest, South Side, Chicago, Illinois; Served 8 years of a Death sentence for Murder and Rape, from the series The Innocents, 2002 © Taryn Simon

Jeff Wall, Approach, 2014 © Jeff Wall

Closed

Jeff Wall in
Actual Size! Photography at Life Scale

January 28–May 2, 2022
International Center of Photography, New York
www.icp.org

In 1946, the renowned writer Jorge Luis Borges described a society that wanted a map of its land so detailed that it eventually covered the land itself. Actual Size! is an homage to Borges’s wild but serious idea, showing us new ways to consider what a photograph is, and what it can be. The exhibition, which offers viewers a diverse group of images that all share the same dimension as life itself, is a rethinking of the fundamental qualities of this perplexing and elastic medium. Work by Jeff Wall is included.

Jeff Wall, Approach, 2014 © Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, Mother of pearl, 2016 © Jeff Wall

Closed

Jeff Wall

October 21, 2021–March 13, 2022
Glenstone, Potomac, Maryland
www.glenstone.org

Comprising nearly thirty artworks spanning five decades, this exhibition brings together the full range of Jeff Wall’s pioneering photographic oeuvre, from early pictures displayed in backlit lightboxes and black-and-white silver gelatin prints to more recent large-scale inkjet color prints.

Jeff Wall, Mother of pearl, 2016 © Jeff Wall

Gregory Crewdson, Untitled, 2003–08 © Gregory Crewdson

Closed

True Pictures?
Zeitgenössische Fotografie aus Kanada und den USA

November 6, 2021–February 13, 2022
Sprengel Museum Hannover, Germany
www.sprengel-museum.de

This group exhibition, whose subtitle translates to Contemporary Photography from Canada and the USA, presents work by more than thirty North American artists spanning three generations whose photography is informed by our digital age—both through their employment of digital technologies and in terms of their engagement with the “flood of images” that defines visual culture of the twenty-first century. Work by Gregory Crewdson, Taryn Simon, and Jeff Wall is included.

Gregory Crewdson, Untitled, 2003–08 © Gregory Crewdson

See all Museum Exhibitions for Jeff Wall

Press

See all Press