Jeff Wall was born in 1945 in Vancouver, Canada, where he works and lives. He studied Fine Arts and History of Art at the University of British Columbia and followed up with a PhD in the History of Art from Courtald Institute, London. He began taking cibachrome transparencies in 1977, and since then his work has played a key role in defining photoconceptualism and new “photographic objectivity”.
Wall approaches his photographs as though they were scenes from a film. He is interested in urban violence, racism, poverty and class and gender conflicts. The narrative drama of his photographs seems to echo the conventions of film, but they also draw on the language of painting.
The large scale and careful composition of his works bring to mind the tableaux vivant of great historical painters, but Wall’s images are photographic tableaux that renew conventional image typologies. Wall, who also writes theoretical texts, has been hailed as one of the most important figures behind the renewal of contemporary photography.