Fred Herzog and Jeff Wall: Exploring Topography in Vancouver Through Photo-Based Art

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Mann, Evangeline Caitlin




Vancouver-based photographer Fred Herzog (1930-2019) and artist Jeff Wall (b. 1946) both represent their city's topography. Herzog's colourful images of Vancouver produced between the 1950s and 1970s reveal his interest in portraying locality as a key framework to explore the city's topography. Wall often presents Vancouver as a backdrop for his staged, tableaux images that explore European art history and cinematography. One of Wall's earliest works, Landscape Manual (1969-1970), reveals his interest in picturing Vancouver's suburban topography to explore conceptual art-making processes. This thesis argues that both Herzog and Wall offer distinctive interpretations of how to picture topography. This research draws from academic theorizations about place-making and photography. In addition, I have employed analyses about the materiality of photographic images, as well as the flâneur figure, to investigate how both Herzog and Wall prioritize processes involved in critically observing topography and creating photo-based art.


Herzog, Fred, 1930-2019
Wall, Jeff, 1946-
Art and history




Carleton University


Gagosian - image permissions: 
Cora Hall
Image permissions: 
Ian Wallace
Image permissions: 
Christos Dikeakos
Equinox Gallery - image permissions: 
Chantelle Fawcett

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Arts: 

Thesis Degree Level: 


Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Art History

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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