1st Edition

Jeff Wall and the Concept of the Picture

By Naomi Merritt Copyright 2021
    220 Pages 41 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    This book grapples with fundamental questions about the evolving nature of pictorial representation, and the role photography has played in this ongoing process.

    These issues are explored through a close analysis of key themes that underpin the photography practice of Canadian artist Jeff Wall and through examining important works that have defined his oeuvre. Wall’s strategic revival of ‘the picture’ has had a resounding influence on the development of contemporary art photography, by expanding the conceptual and technical frameworks of the medium and introducing a self-reflexive criticality. Naomi Merritt brings a new and original contribution to the scholarship on one of the most significant figures to have shaped the course of contemporary art photography since the 1970s and shines a light on the multilayered connections between photography and art.

    This book will be of interest to scholars in the history of photography, art and visual culture, and contemporary art history.

    Introduction: Jeff Wall and the Concept of the Picture Part I – Pictures ‘Printed on the Void’ 1 – The Photographic Condition 2 – Photography after Conceptualism 3 – The Photography of Modern Life 4 – Performative Pictures 5 – Photography en-abyme: Towards Cinematography Part II – The Frame 6 – Picture for Women: From Manet’s Mirror to Cinema’s Mobile Frame 7 – Restoration: The Fugitive Condition of Representation Part III – The Photographic Moment 8 – Milk: Liquid Contingency and the Grid 9 – A Sudden Gust of Wind (after Hokusai): The Absence of Fuji   Conclusion: Photography’s Negotiation of the Terrain of the Picture


    Naomi Merritt is a lecturer in contemporary art, art history, critical theory, gender studies, and visual culture at the University of South Australia.