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Phaidon Press Inc.
From Library Journal
There are a number of living artists whose reputations are solid but whose work is sadly unknown outside the art world. Fortunately, the "Contemporary Artists" series will go far to correct that. Affordable, thoroughly illustrated in color, these books provide maximum exposure for the price. Although this is enough to make the series worthy of consideration, it is important to point out what makes it unique. Each volume includes writings by the artists whenever possible. Of the two considered here, painter/printmaker Spero and photographer Wall, the latter is the more verbally prolific. In addition, a piece of literature was preselected by the artist to use as a tool for discussion. Put this together with essays by curators and critics, interviews from throughout the artist's career, and a handy chronology and you get an interesting, overall view of the artist. This multifaceted approach is rewarding not only for its comprehensive view of each individual artist but also because it allows each book in the series to vary according to its subject's strengths. A work in progress?these are the fifth and sixth titles, respectively?this series is a practical buy for most libraries but is especially recommended for academic and large public libraries.?Susan M. Olcott, Columbus Metropolitan Lib., Ohio
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Jeff Wall is foremost among the artists who since the late 1960s have brought photography to the forefront of contemporary art. This revised and expanded edition of the definitive monograph on the Canadian artist, first published in 1996, includes a new fully illustrated essay on Wall's recent work by the French historian of art and photography Jean-Frantois Chevrier, in addition to the artist's recent writings. Describing himself as 'a painter of modern life', Wall produces huge transparencies mounted onto light boxes which diffuse a brilliant glow through his photographs of contemporary urban scenes and 'constructed' social situations. These images employ the latest technology to create tableaux which are evocative of subjects ranging from Hollywood cinema to nineteenth-century history painting. When installed they evoke both the seduction of the cinema screen and the physical presence of minimalist sculptures. Wall engages at a sophisticated level with theories of representation both as an artist and as a theoretical writer on contemporary art and culture. Major surveys of his work have been presented at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (1995); the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris (1995); the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (1996), and the MusTe d'Art Contemporain, Montreal (1999). --This text refers to the Paperback edition.