I love Wall’s reworking of the Hokusai.
Jeff Wall, A Sudden Gust of Wind (After Hokusai), 1993
Although referencing other artworks is perhaps most closely associated with the post-modern practices of the 1970s – think Sherrie Levine and Richard Prince in particular – it’s a practice widely used in contemporary art. Jeff Wall’s large-scale photographic tableaux, many made in the 1980s and ’90s, could perhaps be seen as a kind of bridge between work that uses appropriation as a way to explore ideas about authorship – a key concern in post-modernism – and work that draws on art history and reworks it, perhaps in an attempt to understand the present by looking at the past. These works – shown as large light-boxes, a form that references advertising but also feels related as closely to cinema as to still photography without actually taking on the expected form of any of these – are both visually stunning and…
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