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Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall
1946

Canadian artist and photographer Jeff Wall’s large-scale, back-lit cibachrome photographic tableaux take a mixture of natural beauty, urban decay and postmodern and industrial featurelessness as their backdrop. Jeff Wall’s signature works are large transparencies mounted on light boxes; Wall says he conceived this format when he saw back-lit advertisements at bus stops during a trip between Spain and London. Well known works by Jeff Wall include A Sudden Gust of Wind, The Destroyed Room, Dead Troops Talk, Insomnia, Invisible Man, Picture for Women, Double Self Portrait, Milk, Pain of Others and Marks of Indifference.

Jeff Wall presented his fist gallery exhibition in 1978 as an installation, rather than as a photography show placing The Destroyed Room in the storefront window of the Nova Gallery enclosing it in a plasterboard wall. Another work by Jeff Wall is Mimic which typifies Wall's cinematographic style, a colour transparency the picture resembles a candid shot that captures the moment and its implicit social tensions, but is actually a recreation of an exchange witnessed by the artist.

Some of Jeff Wall's photographs are complicated productions involving cast, sets, crews and digital postproduction. They have been characterised as one-frame cinematic productions. Jeff Wall distinguishes between unstaged 'documentary' pictures and 'cinematographic' pictures, produced using a combination of actors, sets, and special effects. Since the mid-1990s, Jeff Wall has also made large scale black and white photographs, some of which were exhibited at Kassel's Documenta X, as well as smaller colour prints.

Sonic Youth's compilation album The Destroyed Room: B-sides and Rarities uses Jeff Wall's 1978 photograph The Destroyed Room. As well as Sonic Youth the cover image of Iggy Pop's 1999 album Avenue B is a portrait photograph of Iggy Pop by Wall.

Jeff Wall has exhibited widely, with retrospectives at Schaulager, Basel, Tate Modern, London, MoMA, New York, the Chicago Art Institute, SFMoMA, San Francisco, Tamayo Museum, Mexico City, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden and Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels.

In 2002, Jell Wall was awarded the Hasselblad Award and in 2006 he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, as well as being named an Officer of the Order of Canada in December 2007. In March 2008 Wall was awarded the Audain Prize for Lifetime Achievement, British Columbia's annual award for the visual arts.

Buy signed limited edition prints by Jeff Wall at Opus Fine Art; the home of Contemporary art.

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