Marian Goodman Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of recent and new photographs by Jeff Wall which will open on Saturday 13th March and will be on view until Saturday 24th April.
The exhibition will include new pictures in both color and black and white which explore the potential for neo-realism and the 'near-documentary' in photography. These elements constitute the core of Wall's practice over the past several years and find their origin in events witnessed or in the documentary tradition.
Differentiating between the cinematographic and documentary works, between the interests in cinema and painting that first shaped the work and the discernible shift in the 1990s, the artist says in an interview:
"The pictures I made between 1978 and 1982 showed me some paths I could take… how I could work in real places on themes derived for the most part from my own experiences, remembered and reconstructed. I guess that was the start of what I came to call my 'near documentary' pictures. I also think of those pictures as having a Neorealist quality, an affinity with both reportage in photography and the look of the films I liked from the 1950s on. My landscapes were straight photographs, so they showed me a way to at least begin to make that a part of what I was trying to do. … A number of the pictures I did in the 1980s were studio pictures even if they were done in real places. …. I wanted to exaggerate the artificial aspect of my work as a way to create a distance from the dominant context of reportage, the legacy of Robert Frank and the others. I saw something else in photography, something to do with scale, with color and with construction, which might be valid along with the more established values that had come down from the 19th century and had been extended by the great photographers of the 20th. …. Around 1988 1989…. I turned back towards photography or in the direction of photography…. Practically that meant making a different kind of picture than previously. Or at least different to some important degree. … These pictures were important to me; they opened up another way of working, less indebted to the dialectic of painting and cinema … and more connected to straight photography. I think you can see the consequences of that over the past 15 years. "…. (from an interview b/w Jeff Wall & James Rondeau, in Jeff Wall: Catalogue Raisonné 1978-2004, Schaulager, Basel, 2005).
This past year several important group exhibitions throughout Europe and the U.S. have included the artist's work : 15 Jahre Sammlung Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Wolfburg, Germany; Gefrorene Momente, Bundner Kunstmsueum, Chur, Switzerland; Images and re(-presentations): The 1980s – Part II, Magasin- Centre National d'art Contemporain de Grenoble, Grenoble, France; Sonic Youth, Etc… Sensational Fit, Kunsthalle Dusseldorf and Museum of Malmo, Sweden; Cezanne and Beyond, The Philadelphia Museum of Art; and Esposizione Universale – l'arte all prova del tempo at the Galleria d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Gergamo, Bergamo Italy.
Jeff Wall received the Audain Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts, 2008, Vancouver, British Columbia.
Recent important solo exhibitions of the artist's work have been held in both Europe and North America: Jeff Wall: Exposure, a special exhibition commissioned by the Deutsche Guggenheim in 2007 which presented the artist's newer large scale black and white works in conjuction with earlier black & white and color works; Jeff Wall, a retrospective of over 40 works at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, which travelled to The Art Institute of Chicago and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Jeff Wall, Photographs 1978-2004, at the Schaulager, Munchenstein, Basel, for which a catalogue raisonné was published; and a related, but revised exhibition at the Tate Modern, London, for which a complementary catalogue was published by the Tate.
Over the past decade other solo exhibitions include: the Astrup Fearnley Museum, Oslo; UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery, Norwich; MUMOK (Museum of Modern Art Ludwig Foundation), Vienna; Museum fur Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurt; Musee d'art contemporain, Montreal; Museum fur Gegenwartskunst, Basel; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.