For immediate release
January 10 – February 7, 1998
On January 10, Luhring Augustine will open a solo exhibition of Christopher Williams. The show will include approximately 24 photographs, an abridged version of his recent exhibition, For Example: Die Welt ist schön (Final Draft), at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, the Kunsthalle Basel, and the Kunstverein Hamburg.
Since his last show at Luhring Augustine in 1993, Christopher Williams has realized new series of photographs at different points on the globe, Brasilia, Dakar, Rotterdam, Las Palmas, Hollywood. Williams zeroes in on precise locations of the encounter between different cultures and enterprises, pointing our gaze at colonial architectural and technological intervention in Africa (Peace Corps Building, ca. 1965, Dakar, Senegal, 1996), Italian industrial design collected by Dutch museums (“Valentine” typewriter, 1969, 1996), or entomological research used by Hollywood moviemakers (Death Feigning Beetle, Silverlake, CA, 1996).
His photographs document the intersection of different functions and gazes. Williams probes the ideas revealed at these intersections from an anthropological perspective. The question has been asked: how does Christopher Williams define himself as an artist? One answer might be that Williams is like the detective standing next to a forensic photographer at a crime scene, instructing the photographer to take this angle on this object, while he examines the evidence and interview suspects and witnesses. The analogy ends there, because unlike the detective who leaves the printing and finish to technicians, Williams devotes energetic attention to the realization of the final product, the photographic work of art. But this detective approach is what sets Williams apart from other conceptual artists who use photography as their medium. Williams extracts meaning from objects, landscapes, and people through careful observation and analysis of the obvious and the overlooked from unexpected angles. He creates artistic and sociological paradoxes by illuminating the enigmatic elements of his photographs, often withholding just enough information to provoke completion by the viewer’s own curiosity.
A catalogue of the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum and the Kunsthalle Basel exhibitions is available. Christopher Williams’ work is included in the collections of the Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Lenbachhaus, Munich; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.
For further information, please contact Michele Maccarone at (212) 219-9600.