JEFF WALL: Photographs

Jeff Wall, Author . Steidl $50 (156p) ISBN 978-3-88243-867-3

A Canadian photographer justly celebrated over the last 30 or so years for his heightened, meticulous, pre-Photoshop photomontage tableaux, Wall won the prestigious Hasselblad award in 2002, one of the benefits of which is this gorgeous retrospective volume. The book eschews some of Wall's most famous, large-scale lightbox-enhanced productions for quieter yet deeply affecting works from every stage of his career, with an emphasis on more recent work, including Diagonal Composition No. 3 (2000), which takes its diagonals from a fetid mop and two worn spots on a linoleum floor, and Night (2001), in which one small, prone figure can barely be made out, lying with her back against a concrete wall, through a multitude of grays and blacks. Most spectacular is Wall's bringing to life of a scene from Ralph Ellison's The Invisible Man, where the narrator sits in a basement room, ceiling crammed with lit light bulbs, typing. With its sumptuous, full-page recto reproductions (with facing blank pages), the book gives Wall's work plenty of space to make itself felt and makes a good companion to a larger recent selection from Prestel. (June)

Reviewed on: 06/02/2003
Release date: 02/01/2003
Paperback - 192 pages - 978-3-88375-698-1
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