Jeff Wall, Shop Window, Brussels No. 2, 2009
Edition of 50
Inkjet colour print in archival box
33.7 x 25.4 cm
Jeff Wall has always been attracted to the immediacy of street photography and some of his earliest large-scale works, such as Mimic (1982), explored the limits of the genre. Shop Window, Brussels No. 2 combines the directness of street photography with the trope of the shop window, an important motif throughout photographic history. This motif, which highlights the everyday beauty of overlooked spaces, has become an enduring subject matter for Wall who has used it in works such as Shop Window, Rome (2007) or Florist’s Shop Window (2008). Shop Window, Brussels No. 2, taken quickly while walking in Brussels, has an intangible and painterly quality, reflecting the immediacy of the moment and the device that Wall used to take the picture: a basic mobile phone. Here Wall foregrounds the act of looking and framing, combining the ephemeral and the enduring in a single picture where the woman’s head, blurred and in motion, contrasts with the hard edge of the shop window’s frame and the still jewellery behind the glass.
Courtesy White Cube gallery