Christopher Williams b. 1956
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, the artist has had six solo exhibitions at the gallery, including For Example: Dix-Huit Leçons Sur La Société Industrielle (Revision 18) which marked his first presentation at the London location in 2013. A solo show of new work by the artist is planned for November 2014 at David Zwirner, New York.
Christopher Williams: The Production Line of Happiness marks the artist's first major museum survey, which spans thirty-five years of work, and is currently hosted by The Museum of Modern Art, New York (through November 2, 2014). The exhibition was first on display at The Art Institute of Chicago earlier this year and will travel to Whitechapel Gallery, London in 2015.
Williams's 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 those held at 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 Art Institute of Chicago; 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; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, Vienna; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. He lives and works in Cologne and Los Angeles.