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Jeff Wall in "Vancouver"Preview
In this preview from the Vancouver episode of Season 8 of Art in the Twenty-First Century, artist Jeff Wall discusses why his work shifted toward photography.
“I still don’t really know why I’m not a painter,” says the artist. “I stopped painting around 1964 when I was about 19 or 20. The mid-sixties, that was just the beginning of really the explosion of all the kind of new alternative kinds of art.”More information
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Attentive to the accidental encounters that can inspire an image, Jeff Wall recreates flashes of inspiration obtained from sources as varied as personal recollections to something noticed on the street, to daydreams, and encounters with paintings or photographs. With an idea in mind, Wall goes to exacting lengths to produce the picture, which may include constructing a scene from scratch, factoring in the position of the sun over several weeks, and improvisational rehearsals with performers. Wall’s pictures include both fantastical scenes and vernacular images of people on the margins of society or in moments of exchange and quiet contemplation.
“I still don’t really know why I’m not a painter. I stopped painting around 1964 when I was about 19 or 20.
The mid-sixties, that was just the beginning of really the explosion of all the kind of new alternative kinds of art.”