Jeff Wall

Vancouver Canada 1946, lives and works in Vancouver

Adrian Walker, artist, drawing from a specimen in a laboratory in the Department of Anatomy at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver
1992
cibachrome transparency, back-lit with fluorescent light and mounted in an aluminium display case
119 x 164 x 22,5 cm, ed.2/3
1993.JW.01

The title is so precise that one could become suspicious of it: Adrian Walker, artist, drawing from a specimen in a laboratory in the Department of Anatomy at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. The work is a large, Cibachrome color slide, lit from behind in a wall casing of plexiglas and aluminum. This form of presentation from the world of advertising seems, with its dominant presence, to be out of place in a museum. Almost all the work of Jeff Wall has this form, though he has made black and white photographs as well.

Adrian Walker... depicts an existing person in a situation that Wall encountered more or less as it was. But it is not a snapshot: Walker’s pose is definitely not coincidental. With his meditative stance Wall alludes to the tranquil figures, engrossed in their activities or musings, that appear in the genre paintings of the eighteenth-century artist Chardin. Wall frequently seeks a connection with historical examples, but he is not a traditionalist. Through the combination of historical and contemporary elements, he creates images that are relevant to our time. By showing figures who are completely absorbed in something, he defends the notion of ‘the inner’ from contemporary theories on ‘the death of the subject’.