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.
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.
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.