Jeff Wall

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Texts by: Martin Schwander, Ralph Ubl Edited by: Martin Schwander für die Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel Graphic Design: Uwe Koch English Januar 2024, 248 Pages, 95 Ills. Quarterbound hardcover 310mm x 250mm
ISBN: 978-3-7757-5630-3

Since the late 1970s, the Canadian artist Jeff Wall has contributed significantly to establishing photography as an autonomous medium, and 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 meticulously composed, multilayered compositions. 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. 

Featuring more than fifty works, this catalogue accompanying the large-scale exhibition at the Fondation Beyeler juxtaposes Wall’s iconic backlit color transparencies with his more recent black and white photographs and color C-prints, revealing a variety of references in content and form.

The title is also available in German.

With his innovative approach to photography, JEFF WALL (*1946, Vancouver) has significantly shaped the medium and its status within contemporary art. After completing his postgraduate studies in art history in the mid-1970s, his new conceptual approach to large-format pictorial photography attracted attention. 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. He lives and works in Vancouver.
Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel
January 28–April 21, 2024