Jeff Wall: room guide, room 12

Light filters through leaves and rebounds from glass windows to create intriguing reflections, illuminating interior and exterior spaces with equal and impossible radiance. Wall’s subtle and complex manipulation of light is just one aspect brought to the fore in this final selection that revisits many of his enduring themes and preoccupations.

Jeff Wall A Sunflower 1995

Jeff Wall A Sunflower 1995Transparency in lightbox 740 x 900 mmDocumentary photograph

Private collection. Courtesy Martin Schwander A&E Advisory Services, Basel© The artist

Jeff Wall Tattoos and Shadows 2000

Jeff Wall Tattoos and Shadows 2000Transparency in lightbox 1955 x 2550 mmCinematographic photograph

Courtesy the artist© The artist

Morning Cleaning, Mies van der Rohe Foundation, Barcelona 1999

The subject of Morning Cleaning is an iconic example of modernist architecture, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s pavilion for the International Exhibition of 1929, held in Barcelona. The pavilion was reconstructed in the 1980s and is now permanently open to the public. Wall was interested in the labour required to maintain the brilliance and transparency of the building, with its signature glass walls and marble surfaces. We see the pavilion’s cleaner at work early in the morning before the building opens – another example of the artist’s interest in activities which are normally unseen or overlooked.

Jeff Wall Morning Cleaning, Mies van der Rohe Foundation, Barcelona 1999

Jeff Wall Morning Cleaning, Mies van der Rohe Foundation, Barcelona 1999Transparency in lightbox 1807 x 3510 mmCinematographic photograph

Collection of the artist, on permanent loan to the Museum f&uulm;r Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main© The artist

A View From an Apartment 2004–5

This is Wall’s most recent work. It was photographed between May 2004 and March 2005 in an apartment specially rented for the purpose. Wall says he wanted to make a picture of an interior that included a view, something he had not done before. He asked one of the women in the picture to furnish the apartment and to live in it as if it were her own. Shooting occurred at various points during this time and the resulting photographs were then digitally combined. With A view from an apartment Wall achieves a remarkable synthesis of a number of his preoccupations: a commonplace interior opens onto an urban panorama; documentary material is treated with cinematographic dynamism; the everyday is heightened through composition and the effects of light; and a narrative is suggested but left incomplete.

Jeff Wall A view from an apartment 2004–5

Jeff WallA view from an apartment 2004–5Transparency in lightbox 1670 x 2440 mmCinematographic photograph

Collection of the artistCourtesy Marian Goodman Gallery, New York © Jeff Wall