Sunday, 14 March 2010

Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall, OC (born September 29, 1946) in Vancouver, British Columbia is a Canadian artist best known for his large scale back lit cibachrome photographs and art historical writing. Wall has been a key figure in Vancouver's art scene for years. Early in his career, he helped define the Vancouver School and he has published essays on the work of his close colleagues and fellow Vancouverites Rodney Graham, Ken Lum and Ian Wallace. His photographic tableaux often take Vancouver's mixture of natural beauty, urban decay and postmodern and industrial featurelessness as their backdrop. Wall experimented with conceptual art while an undergraduate student at UBC. Wall then made no art until 1977, when he produced his first backlit phototransparencies. Many of these pictures are staged and refer to the history of art and philosophical problems of representation.
The Vancouver School of conceptual or post conceptual photography (often referred to as photoconceptualism) is a loose term applied to a grouping of artists from Vancouver starting in the 1980s. Critics and curators began writing about artists reacting to both older conceptual art practices and mass media by countering with high intensity content rich photos.
Jeff Wall's Mimic (1982) typifies his cinematographic style. A large colour transparency, it depicts a white couple and an Asian man walking towards the camera. The sidewalk, flanked by parked cars and residential and light industrial buildings, which suggests a North American suburb. The woman is wearing red shorts and a white top displaying her midriff; her bearded, unkempt boyfriend wears a vest. The Asian man is casual but well dressed in comparison, in a collared shirt and slacks. As the couple overtake the man, the boyfriend makes a ambiguous but racist gesture, holding his upraised middle finger close to the corner of his eye, slanting his eye in mockery of the Asian man. The picture resembles a candid shot that captures the moment of social tensions, but is actually a recreation of a exchange witnessed by the artist.
Wall's work advances an argument for the necessity of pictorial art. Some of Wall's photographs are complicated productions involving cast, sets, crews and digital postproduction.
Ilfochrome (formerly known as Cibachrome) is a dye destruction positive to positive photographic process used for the reproduction of slides on photographic paper. The prints are made on a dimensionally stable polyester base, essentially a plastic base opposed to traditional paper base. Since it uses azo dyes on a polyester base, the print will not fade, discolor, or deteriorate for a long time. Characteristics of Ilfochrome prints are image clarity, color purity, as well as being an archival process able to produce critical accuracy to the original slide.
Jeff Wall / Retrospective / Museum of Modern Art MoMA

Isle Of Man Mansions