Limited collector's edition with 16 x 20 inch silver gelatin print.
Jeff Wall adopts the nineteenth-century poet Baudelaire's famous description of one of his contemporaries as "a painter of modern life" to describe his own work: huge transparencies mounted onto light boxes which diffuse a brilliant glow of white light evenly through his photographs of contemporary urban scenes and 'constructed' social situations.
Jeff Wall is foremost among the pioneering artists who since the late 1960s have brought photography to the forefront of contemporary art. His constructed images employ the latest sophisticated technology in the creation of compelling tableaux, which are evocative of subjects ranging from Hollywood cinema to nineteenth-century history painting. When exhibited in their glowing light boxes they evoke both the seduction of the cinema screen and the physical presence of minimalist sculptures such as Dan Flavin's fluorescent light installations or Donald Judd's metal and Perspex wall reliefs.
The documentary image Fortified Door is a portrait of urban defence that denies entry not only to visitors but also to the viewer. Tightly cropped and shot nearly head-on, it offers little information about its location or context (although small clues can be found at the edges of the photo). The door and the picture of it share a particularly ambivalent position in time, quoting idioms from the past but bearing traces of the present.
Silver gelatin print: Fortified Door. Sheet size: 20 x 16 inches / 50.8 x 40.6 cm Image size: 11 1/4 x 9 inches / 28.5 x 22.7 cm Box: 20 3/4 x 16 3/4 inches / 51.6 x 42.3 cm
Signed and numbered by Jeff Wall Edition of 100 + 10 artist's proofs Hardback, English, 212pp, 180 colour illustrations, 40 black and white illustrations Book size: 21 x 17 1/2 inches / 53.3 x 44.8 cm