Jeff Wall Portraits


May 10 – June 30, 2012

Galleria Lorcan  O’ Neill – via Orti D’Alibert 1E – Rome

Jeff Wall is internationally credited as the artist who brought photography from the margins of the art world to its center. One of the most influential artists working today, his impact on generations of younger artists is immense.  His large-scale photographs, with their visual spectacle and deep intellectual resources, have been compared to the grand history paintings of the 19th century; they capture every detail of a moment and indelibly connect it to time.

In the late 1970s Jeff Wall began making  images with rich saturated colors on a scale that was unprecedented for art photographs. He mounted these transparencies in large light boxes, aiming to make his photography a rival to both modern urban advertising and the grandest historical paintings. While the photographs of Jeff Wall appear to be simple snapshots – lucky coincidence of being at the right place at the right time – they are in fact meticulously planned using actors, artificial lighting, and staged compositions.  Wall himself compares his work to cinematography.

Galleria Lorcan O’Neill Roma will present a group of new large-scale photographs made recently by Jeff Wall in Italy and in his home town of Vancouver, Canada.  Classic examples of his work, they feature figures suspended in thought or in a stolen moment of life. Ivan Sayers is a large staged tableaux of a costume historian lecturing with a live model dressed in Edwardian finery. In our second space we  feature photographs made in Sicily: Hillside near Ragusa is of a biblical sweep of terrain that evokes the ancient eternal quality of the land.

This is his Jeff Wall’s third exhibition at Galleria Lorcan O’Neill Roma. He had his first ever solo show in Italy in 2003 at the gallery.

Jeff Wall was born in 1946 in Vancouver, Canada, where he lives and works.

He had retrospectives at Tate Modern (2005); Schaulager, Basel (2005); MoMA, New York (2007); The Art Institute of Chicago (2007); and SFMoMA, San Francisco (2008).

Recent solo shows include the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden (2010); Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels (2011); and the Contemporary Art Center, Santiago de Compostella (2011).

He currently has an exhibition at the Pinchuk Art Center in Kiev, Ukraine; and an exhibition of his work will travel to museums in Australia in 2012 and 2013.

He has participated in numerous international shows, including Documenta 10 (1997) and 11 (2002), and the Venice Biennale (2001). He has won various awards including the Order of Canada and the Hasselblad Prize.

Image above: Jeff Wall, Boxing, 2011, Colour photograph, 223 x 303 cm


Jeff Wall

Hillside, Ragusa, November 2007, 2007

Colour photograph

258 x 317 cm


Jeff Wall

Vancouver, 7 Dec. 2009. Ivan Sayers, Costume Historian, Lectures at the University Women?s Club.Virginia Newton-Moss Wears a British Ensemble c. 1910, from Sayers? Collection, 2009

Colour photograph

182.5 x 225 cm


Jeff Wall

The Thinker, 1986

Transparency in light box

211 x 229 cm


Jeff Wall

Morning Cleaning, Mies Van der Rohe Foundation Barcelona, 1999

Transparency in light box

187 x 351 cm


Jeff Wall

Milk, 1984

Transparency in light box

187 x 229 cm


Jeff Wall

Mimic, 1982

Transparency in light box

198 x 228.5 cm


Jeff Wall

A Woman and her Doctor, 1980-1981

Transparency in light box

100 x 155 cm


Jeff Wall

Young Man Wet with Rain, 2011

Silver galatine print

285 x 160 cm