In this group of works emotional intensity and theatricality is eschewed in favour of a quieter mode of engagement. Wall closes in on scenes that, in themselves, seem commonplace, yet which offer up intriguing compositional relationships and subtle poetry.

Overpass 2001

Four people carrying luggage and parcels walk away from the viewer. With their backs to us, the figures are anonymous; they might betravellers visiting the city, or nomads moving through it. A subtle palette of cool greys and blues unites the whole, from the clothes and baggage to the surprising forms of a suddenly stormy sky. As the road stretches into the far distance, the picture evokes a mood of pilgrimage, both physical and emotional, or perhaps of exile. Overpass continues the thread of ‘street pictures’ Wall initiated 25 years earlier, but in a more muted key.

Jeff Wall Overpass 2001

Jeff Wall
Overpass
2001
Transparency in lightbox 2140 x 2735 mm
Cinematographic photograph

Coleccion de Fotografía Contemporánea de Telefónica
© The artist

Jeff Wall Dawn 2001

Jeff Wall
Dawn
2001
Transparency in lightbox 2300 x 2930 mm
Documentary photograph

Collection Zellweger Luwa AG
© The artist

Concrete ball 2002

Based on a found scene, the quietness of Concrete ball reveals Wall’s attention to pictorial composition. The concern here is not torepresent an event, but rather to depict a generic urban landscape, without specific qualities and devoid of any drama. The perspective is carefully calculated and the central element responds to the curve of the road. The large scale of the work, proportioned to the human body, evokes a sense of immersion in the scene.

Jeff Wall Concrete ball 2002

Jeff Wall
Concrete ball
2002
Transparency in lightbox 2040 x 2600 mm
Documentary photograph

Private collection, Basel
© The artist

Jeff Wall A woman with a covered tray 2003

Jeff Wall
A woman with a covered tray
2003
Transparency in lightbox 1640 x 2086 mm
Cinematographic photograph

Panos and Sandra Marinopoulos
© The artist