There’s just too much going on in one picture: Jeff Wall’s ‘The crooked path’ (Bozar)

Good exhibitions? The ones that stay interesting, even when you visit them for a second time. During the opening of the Jeff Wall exhibition at Bozar (Brussels; through September 9) I only had eyes for his famous big light-boxes. But the great thing about The crooked path is that is isn’t merely a Jeff Wall retrospective, but more of a group exhibition with lots of works by artists who have influenced the Canadian artist in one way or the other.
‘I had never thought I would do anything like this and it still feels like an experiment to me’, Wall said during the press conference. He particularly drew everyone’s attention to the rooms with pictures by 20th century photographers. ‘People always thought that I was negating that tradition or replacing it. But that was never the case. By showing these pictures I want to emphasize the fact that what I do has strong bonds with tradition.’
So there I was, visiting The crooked path for a second time, spellbound by those great pictures by Diane Arbus, Walker Evans, Robert Frank, August Sander, Weegee and Garry Winogrand. His Los Angeles 1969 especially caught my eye: that light coming from two directions, one girl trying to avoid that guy in the wheelchair, that little boy looking at him. Just too much going on in one picture. Just as in Wall’s In front of a nightclub, for instance. You’ll find that picture after the jump, and some of Wall’s other photos as well.


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