Jeff Wall’s Picture for Women (1979) marks the transition of photography as an art form from the printed page to the gallery wall. In the photograph a woman looks outward, as if at the viewer; a camera occupies the centre of the image; the photographer stands on the right. Modelled on Édouard Manet’s painting Un Bar aux Folies-Bergère, Picture for Women is an ambitious attempt to relate the artistic and spectatorial demands of the late 1970s to modernist pictorial art.
In this book, David Campany offers an account of Wall’s move from a Conceptual approach to a reengagement with the idea of a singular (rather than serial) picture. Contrasting Wall’s idea of the photograph as a tableau or a‘picture’ with the works of the Pictures Generation – including Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman and Jack Goldstein – this book argues that Picture for Women is inseparable from the modern fate of the picture in general.
We are pleased to announce that writer David Campany has been awarded a 2012 ICP Annual Infinity Award for his Afterall One Work book on Jeff Wall’s Picture for Women (1979). Please join us in congratulating the author and watch the interview below to find out more about the award-winning book.