From Andrew Frost…
Jeff Wall is one of the most highly influential artist-photographers of the last two decades. Alongside the likes of Gregory Crewdson and Cindy Sherman, Wall is a conceptualist whose images are as much about photography itself as they are actual photographs; where the title photographer implies someone who records the world with their camera, the artist-photographer is someone who self-consciously draws into their works art, history, painting, cinema and the media.
Canadian-born Wall produces images that eschew the large-scale special effects of Crewdson or the faux-glamour of Sherman for an astringent aesthetic that is both minimalist and evocative. The exhibition Jeff Wall Photographs at the Museum of Contemporary Art covers three decades from early self portraits to the more well-known large scale, backlit images such as A sudden gust of wind (after Hokusai)  and After ‘Invisible Man’ by Ralph Ellison, the Prologue [1999-2000] to more recent works such as A Boy Falls From A Tree .
Wall is a master of his rarefied medium, balancing direct and knowing references to painting and literature with an ability to create an arresting narrative within a single frame. As much as his images may be about the creation and understanding of just such an image, they’re also highly aesthetic and uncompromising.
Until July 28
Museum of Contemporary Art, The Rocks
Pic: Jeff Wall, Double Self-Portrait, 1979. Transparency in light box, 172x229cms. Courtesy of the artist, Jeff Wall.