In the 1970s, Christopher Williams studied at the California Institute of the Arts under the first wave of West Coast conceptual artists, including John Baldessari and Douglas Huebler, only to become one of his generation’s leading conceptualists. Williams’s work is a critical investigation of the medium of photography and more broadly the vicissitudes of industrial culture, in particular its structures of representation and classification. Using the process of reproduction as a point of entry, the artist manipulates the conventions of advertising, the superficiality of surface, and ultimately the history of Modernism. Deeply political, historical, and sometimes personal, the photographs are meant to evoke a subtle shift in our perception by questioning the communication mechanisms and aesthetic conventions that influence our understanding of reality.
Williams was born in Los Angeles in 1956. Since joining David Zwirner in 2000, he has had five solo exhibitions at the gallery in New York. Christopher Williams: For Example: Dix-Huit Leçons Sur La Société Industrielle (Revision 18) marks his first solo show at David Zwirner, London, which is on view from May 17 to June 15, 2013.
Williams will participate in the 55th Venice Biennale, opening in June 2013, curated by Massimiliano Gioni. His first American solo museum exhibition will open in 2014 at The Art Institute of Chicago and will travel to The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions worldwide, most recently at Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen, Germany; Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle, Belgium (both 2011); Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Germany; and the Bergen Kunsthall, Norway (both 2010). Other notable solo exhibitions include the Kunsthalle Zürich (2007); Museu Serralves, Porto, Portugal (2006); Secession, Vienna; and the Kunstverein Braunschweig, Germany (both 2005).
Major museum collections which hold works by the artist include the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Ludwig Museum, Cologne; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, Vienna; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; amongst others. He lives and works in Amsterdam, Cologne, and Los Angeles.
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