Jeff Wall’s imposing presence at La Virreina with gigantic and addictive images.

Jeff Wall's imposing presence at La Virreina with gigantic and addictive images.Jeff Wall’s imposing presence at La Virreina with gigantic and addictive images. These images, which have the composition of a painting with the striking style of a film frame, capture the precise instant and at the same time suggest precise universes.

This tour can be enjoyed until October 13 at La Virreina Centro de la Imagen, located at La Rambla, 99, Ciutat Vella, 08002 Barcelona, Spain. This is an essential walk through Wall’s work. You will find 35 photographic pictures of a large format, which leave small a noble floor of the palace of the Rambla.

Perfect beginning of each story

The artist’s works are presented in an exhibition entitled Possible Tales, which are works that provide a sense of a perfect beginning to each story. The artist explains that, because it is a literary work, he could say Cuentos no escritos (Unwritten Stories), where the artist points out that the kitschy photograph is about a young man who looks at himself in the mirror, but does not see his reflection.

In his hands, an insignificant moment such as cleaning the windows of the Mies van der Rohe pavilion becomes an event. He recalled: “I had the subject, but I had to find the time. It was seven o’clock in the morning and I had about seven minutes to take the picture” This illumination of the sun was parallel to the line of the marble.

Jeff Wall at La Virreina: Exhibition is not in chronological order

These works comprise his entire career from the 1980s to the present day. It is an exhibition that is neither ordered nor chronological, but the curator and expert on Wall’s work, Jean-François Chevrier, has designed unique links between the fragments that the viewer comes to perceive.

For example, the weight of gravity is repeated in a room. It may be the theme that repeats three images: the first, that of a child falling from a wooden house; the second, the cracks, some rocks; and the last, a sad girl making the pendulum with a necklace. They also hold two images showing the ravages of the 2008 crises, with a man extracting gasoline from a car alone and others reusing an engine.

Living paintings of modern life

This enigma, the allegory, the masculinity or the irregular shape of the objects seem like other possible tales for “living paintings of modern life”.

Although it may not seem much to exhibit 35 works, in addition to its size, which makes the cost and logistics of any exhibition difficult, it turns out that Wall has only produced 200 photographs in 45 years, that is, between 4 and 5 images.

As for the meticulously reproduced foreword to Ralph Ellison’s An Invisible Man reflecting the bedroom of a black immigrant from the South living in an early 20th century New York basement, where he includes the details of the novel, involving 369 light bulbs.