Christopher Williams
You Are Looking at Something That Never Occurred
2017
Group exhibition at the Zabludowicz Collection in London
Christopher Williams
Model: 1964 Renault
Dauphine-Four (Car#1)
, 2000

March 30 - July 9

Three works are included in You Are Looking at Something That Never Occurred, a group exhibition exploring how artists have used the camera to blur boundaries between past and present, fact and fiction. The exhibition also features works by fellow gallery artists Thomas Ruff and Wolfgang Tillmans.

The title of the exhibition is taken from a conversation between the artists Jeff Wall and Lucas Blalock in which they argue for art that is experimental and mysterious. Drawn exclusively from the Zabludowicz Collection, the works in the exhibition span 1977 to the present day.

You Are Looking at Something That Never Occurred is accompanied by a fully illustrated publication with texts by Paul Luckraft and David Campany and a round-table discussion moderated by Chris Wiley featuring Lucas Blalock, Sara Cwynar, and Erin Shirreff. Published by the Zabludowicz Collection

Read more: reviews of the exhibition in Elephant Magazine, Wallpaper, and Time Out London, which gave it four stars.

 

Christopher Williams. Supplements, Models, Prototypes
2017
Solo exhibition as part of the Visiting Artist program at ETH Zurich

March 1 - June 12

Christopher Williams. Supplements, Models, Prototypes presented recent work by the artist, who is the first participant in the new Visiting Artist program at ETH Zurich University's Department of Architecture.                     

Supplements, Models, Prototypes was the first exhibition to focus exclusively on exhibition walls, which are a central element of Williams's work. The exhibition presented a group of five walls drawn from prior exhibitions including Christopher Williams: The Production Line of Happiness, the artist's first major museum survey which travelled from The Art Institute of Chicago to The Museum of Modern Art in New York and London's Whitechapel Gallery in 2014-2015.

Williams often intervenes with the architecture of his exhibition spaces. His first installation of a temporary wall was for his 1991 solo exhibition at Galerie Max Hetzler in Cologne, where he had a new wall built directly in front of an existing one.

Stage Play
2017
The artist's first theater production presented at Miller's Theatre Zurich
Christopher Williams
Stage Play poster

May 22 - 24

The shop window occupies its own genre in photography, from Eugène Atget to Zoe Leonard. In Williams's new theater production Stage Play, the shop window and the storefront are the primary characters. Set in the streets of postwar Düsseldorf, this tense drama deals with the accumulation of contingent material suggestive of the quiet persistence of war.

This was the last in a series of shows by Williams since January 2017 that have engaged different aspects of his work, including collage, architecture, photography, publications, sculpture, and now theater.

Stage Play, Williams's first theater production, was created in dialogue with the artist's concurrent exhibition at gta exhibitions, ETH Zurich.

Christopher Williams: Models, Open Letters, Prototypes, Supplements
2017
La Triennale di Milano
Christopher Williams
Fig. 8: Pulling the film cutter
Exakta Varex IIa
35 mm film SLR camera
Manufactured by Ihagee Kamerawerk Steenbergen & Co,
Dresden, German Democratic Republic?Body serial no.
979625 (Production period: 1960 - 1963)
Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar
50mm f/2.8 lens
Manufactured by VEB Carl Zeiss Jena, Jena, German
Democratic Republic Serial no. 8034351 (Production period: 1967 - 1970)
Model: Christoph Boland
Studio Thomas Borho, Oberkasseler Str. 39, Düsseldorf,
Germany
June 22nd, 2012
, 2012
20 x 24 inches (50.8 x 61 cm)

April 28 - June 25

Christopher Williams:  Models, Open Letters, Prototypes, Supplements presents the artist's work as part of La Triennale di Milano. The exhibition features photographs combined with staging elements that were used in his recent exhibitions, and explores how these are interconnected within his practice.

Williams's critically-acclaimed 2014-2015 retrospective, The Production Line of Happiness, was exhibited at The Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Whitechapel Gallery in London.

Recent publications include Christopher Williams: Printed in Germany, and Christopher Williams: The Production Line of Happiness.

 

The Absent Museum
2017
Group exhibition at WIELS Contemporary Art Center, Brussels
Christopher Williams
Bergische Bauernscheune, Junkersholz 
Leichlingen, September 29, 2009
, 2010
17 1/4 x 22 inches (43.8 x 55.9 cm)

April 20 - August 13

The Absent Museum looks back over the history of WIELS and towards its future development in honor of the art center's 10th anniversary. Included are works by gallery artists Francis Alÿs, Marlene Dumas, Isa Genzken, Oscar Murillo, Wolfgang Tillmans, Luc Tuymans, and Christopher Williams.

Christopher Williams: The Production Line of Happiness
2014-2015
The artist’s first major museum survey spanned 35 years of his practice
Christopher Williams
Standardpose [Standard Pose]
1,0 Zwerg-Brabanter, silber, Düsseldorf 2013 (Vera Spix, Elsdorf)
Ring number: EE-D13 13-901, green
Studio Rhein Verlag, Düsseldorf
November 21, 2013
, 2014

The Production Line of Happiness, the major survey of work by Christopher Williams, travelled from The Art Institute of Chicago to The Museum of Modern Art in New York and London's Whitechapel Gallery in 2014-2015.

The exhibition’s title is borrowed from a 1967 documentary by French director Jean-Luc Godard, in which an amateur filmmaker describes the process of editing his films of the Swiss countryside as "the production line of happiness." In Williams's work, "production" applies not only to the creation of images, but also to how images produce the experiences and objects that are consumed as part of a materialist society. As he explained in an interview with dis magazine during the MoMA exhibition, "An idea that is very interesting to me right now is to adopt a model and stay as closely as possible to that model  . . . to inhabit a way of seeing."

In William’s critique, the visual conventions that surround us are co-opted, and often undercut with a vague sense of humor or nostalgia. The Production Line of Happiness included photographs of a bouquet of flowers, a stack of unwrapped Ritter Sport chocolate bars, a dishwasher, dewy red apples, and a model wearing a glib smile and a towel as if fresh from the shower. In the last of these, a Kodak color chart appears on the left of the image as if to expose its workings. In her review for The New York Times, Roberta Smith wrote that the exhibition "conveys the complexity of Mr. Williams's achievement and of art making itself with a wondrous lucidity."

The exhibition was accompanied by two conceptual publications created in collaboration with the artist. The first, entitled The Production Line of Happiness, is equal parts artist's book and exhibition publication, and includes texts by the curators Mark Godfrey, Roxana Marcoci, and Matthew S. Witkovsky. The second, Printed in Germany, is an artist's book extending Williams's ideas into published form. Williams was the first artist to receive the Photography Catalogue of the Year, presented by the Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards, for these publications.

The Production Line of Happiness and Printed in Germany
2014
Artist publications accompanying Williams’s first major museum survey

In 2014, Christopher Williams collaborated on the production of publications in conjunction with his first major museum survey, The Production Line of Happiness. This critically acclaimed exhibition traveled from The Art Institute of Chicago to The Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Whitechapel Gallery in London in 2014-2015.

Entitled The Production Line of Happiness, the first volume is equal parts artist's book and exhibition publication. Made in cooperation with the museums, the book features texts by the curators Mark Godfrey, Roxana Marcoci, and Matthew S. Witkovsky exploring Williams's engagement with his artistic peers and predecessors, with cinema, and with models of display and publicity in the art world. Also included is the transcript of a talk Williams delivered on the work of John Chamberlain. These more conventional contributions are "interrupted" by additional historical and contemporary materials which were selected by Williams himself and are sometimes presented in facsimile form. An exhibition history, bibliography, and illustrated list of works complete the publication, which has been produced in three colors—yellow, red, and green. Co-published by the Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Modern Art, and Whitechapel Gallery

Following the exhibition publication which relies more heavily on text than image, Printed in Germany is an artist's book conceived as a stand-alone visual object that extends Williams's conceptual and aesthetic ideas into book form. The publication reproduces a selection of Williams's photographs and features striking graphic design, with no essay, captions, or even a title page. Like The Production Line of Happiness, Printed in Germany has been produced in yellow, red, and green versions. Published by Walther König, Cologne

Williams was the first artist to receive the Photography Catalogue of the Year, presented by the Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards, for The Production Line of Happiness and Printed in Germany.