A key figure in the development of contemporary photography in Canada, Ian Wallace examines the impact of urban development and the modernisation of cities on individuals. He is a pioneer of large-format photography and has greatly contributed to the renewed appreciation of the form. In the 1960s, he develops a conceptual photographic approach that serves as a tool for social and aesthetic analysis, and later redirects his research towards visual language and artistic mediums, particularly painting and photography, which converge in his work to form a unique dialogue. Wallace’s work demonstrates how modern society provokes individual alienation, a concern he shares with many of his contemporaries, including Stan Douglas, Rodney Graham and Jeff Wall.

In the Street (Tom), 1989, Photolaminate with acrylic and ink monotype on canvas.
© Ian Wallace • Photo: Richard-Max Tremblay