Christopher Williams: Mustafa Kinte (Gambia) / Camera: Makina 67 506347 / Plaubel Feinmechanik und Optik GmbH / Borsigallee 37 / 60388 Frankfurt am Main, Germany / Shirt: Van Laack Shirt Kent 64 / 41061 Mönchengladbach, Germany / Dirk Schaper Studio, Berlin / July 20, 2007, 2008.
Restricted gift of Artworkers Retirement Society
© Christopher Williams
Courtesy of the artist; David Zwirner, New York/London; and Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne.
Christopher Williams: The Production Line of Happiness
CHICAGO • The Art Institute of Chicago • 24 January - 18 May 2014
|With a career spanning 35 years, Christopher Williams (born 1956) now stands as one of the leading contemporary artists engaged in photography. . Deeply invested in the techniques and history of photography, Williams is just as profoundly committed to contemporary art as a forum for intellectual inquiry and thoughtful opposition—resisting, for example, a capitalist society in which photographs typically act as agents of consumer spectacle. This exhibition—a multipart installation conceived by the artist that spans three gallery spaces on three floors of the museum—is Williams’s first retrospective.|
The survey begins with films from Williams’s studies at the California Institute of the Arts, where he earned his MFA in 1981 and took classes with John Baldessari and Michael Asher. Alongside the films and SOURCE (1981), Williams’s first mature work, is a classic early piece, Angola to Vietnam* (1989), shown in its 27-part entirety, as well as works of the 1990s, mainly from For Example: Die Welt ist schön (1993–2001), an eight-year project inspired in part by the 1920s photographs of Albert Renger-Patzsch.
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