Gallery David Zwirner presents Christopher Williams “For Example: Dix-Huit Leçons Sur La Société Industrielle (Revision 18).
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. In the present work, Williams continues his interest in compositions that are reminiscent of a commercial photo shoot, yet subtly defy its conventions. His works often make use of professional hand models and carefully arranged backgrounds. These sometimes appear suggestive of a particular decade, as in the present case where the patterned wallpaper evokes a 1960s and 1970s aesthetic. The yellow soap in the center of the work can be seen as a reference to previous works by Williams, where the color reappears in the shape of various objects.
About Christopher Williams
In the 1970s, Christopher Williams (b. 1956) 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 conceptual photographers. Williams’s work is a critical investigation of the medium of photography and, more broadly, the vicissitudes of industrial culture and its structures of representation and classification.
He is Professor for Photography at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf, and lives between Amsterdam, Cologne and Los Angeles. During the 1970s he studied at the California Institute of the Arts, where pioneering conceptual artists such as John Baldessari were teachers. Williams took their abstract ideas and raised them tenfold.