JEFF WALL AT THE FONDATION BEYELER
With his innovative approach to photography, Jeff Wall has significantly shaped the medium and its status within contemporary art. Now, the Fondation Beyeler in Switzerland is devoting a comprehensive solo show to the internationally renowned Canadian artist.
Born 1946 in Vancouver, Wall attracted great attention with his new conceptual approach to large-format pictorial photography after having completed his postgraduate studies in art history in the late 1970s. Wall is regarded as one of the key vanguards of “staged photography”. Referring to his approach as “near documentary”, his images resemble documentary photographs in style and manner, but instead are multilayered compositions. His large-format photographs are often intricately and subtly composed from numerous individual shots. Often inspired by daily life and art history, they resemble carefully crafted film stills. Synthesizing photography with elements from other art forms such as painting, cinema, and literature—in a complex mode that he calls “cinematography”—his deeply intellectual work stages fictional realities, memories and past experiences in an elaborate process.
Each of his images is a unique composition that can take years to complete. Since the mid-1990s he has expanded his repertoire, working with traditional black-and-white prints and, more recently, inkjet color prints.
Bringing together 55 works, the exhibition includes Wall’s famous transparencies displayed in lightboxes, along with black-and-white photographs and color photographic prints. In each of the eleven rooms, more recent works forge a rich thematic and formal dialogue with iconic early pieces. The exhibition will also feature several new works on public view for the very first time.
In the comprehensive catalog each group of works is accompanied by the artist’s own commentary, offering unique insights into his practice and artistic conceptualization.
On the occasion of the opening of the exhibition, which will be on view at the Fondation Beyeler from January 28 to April 21, 2024, Jeff Wall will speak in person about his current work and the concept behind the exhibition.
January 28, 2024 | 2–3 pm
Lecture by Jeff Wall
on the occasion of the opening of his show at the Fondation Beyeler
On January 30, 2024, Jeff Wall will also give a lecture on the occasion of gallery owner Jörg Johnen’s donation to the Lenbachhaus in Munich, and the exhibition Fragment of an Infinite Discourse. The donation adds Wall's 1997 work Just Washed to the Lenbachhaus collection. In the lecture, Wall will speak about his time with Jörg Johnen as a gallery owner and provide insights into his current artistic considerations.
January 30,2024 | 7–9 pm
Lecture by Jeff Wall
on the occasion of the donation of his work Just Washed, 1997
In our interview section you will find an extract from the conversation between Jeff Wall and curator Martin Schwander.
Bildcredits: Jeff Wall, Milk, 1984, Transparency in lightbox, 187.0 x 229.0 cm, collectionFRAC Champagne-Ardenne, Reims © Jeff Wall // Jeff Wall, Morning Cleaning, Mies van der Rohe Foundation, Barcelona,1999, Transparency in lightbox, 187.0 x 356.0 cm © Jeff Wall // Jeff Wall, The Thinker, 1986, Transparency in lightbox, 211.0 x 229.0 cm © Jeff Wall