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Christopher Williams (American artist)

Christopher Williams (born 1956) is an American conceptual artist and fine art photographer.[1] He lives in Cologne and works in Düsseldorf.[2]


Early life and educationEdit

Williams was born in 1956 in Los Angeles, CA. In the 1970s and early 1980s, he studied at the California Institute of the Arts where he received his B.F.A. and M.F.A. under the first generation of West Coast conceptual artists including John Baldessari,[3] Douglas Huebler, and Michael Asher.[4] Since October 2008 he has been a professor in photography at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. His wife is curator and former Stedelijk Museum director Ann Goldstein.[5]


Writing in Artforum in 2007, art critic Tim Griffin described Williams's approach as "sociophotographic."[6] It has been said that Williams works within the tradition of institutional critique within what Sven Lütticken describes as an informal group, along with Willem de Rooij, Jeroen de Rijke and Mathias Poledna, that investigates the "parameters of the exhibition space."[7] Chronologically, however, he belongs to the Pictures Generation, whose members include Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman, James Welling and Louise Lawler.[8] In 1982 Williams had his first solo exhibition at Jancar Kuhlenschmidt Gallery in Los Angeles.

Angola to Vietnam is a photography portfolio of glass flowers.[9][9][10]

In 2000, at an exhibition at David Zwirner Gallery, in New York, Williams showed twenty photographs including a series of pictures of a 1964 Renault automobile on its side. Writing in The New York Times Ken Johnson said, "the Renault was made in a French factory where significant revolutionary activities took place in 1968; hence it is tipped up like a barricade."[3]

Williams' photographs oftentimes show increasingly obsolescent film-based equipment — cameras, lenses and darkroom gear — as beautiful and precise as catalog product shots. The accompanying text adds detail about how the equipment was used.[11] Made by a professional photographer who follows Williams's directions,[2] the conventionally scaled pictures have the glossy lucidity of excellent commercial photographs.[3]


  • Christopher Williams: The production Line of Happiness. ISBN 978-0300203905. Exhibition catalogue.
  • Christopher Williams: Printed in Germany. Walther König, 2014. ISBN 978-3863356002. Exhibition catalogue.


Solo exhibitionsEdit

Since joining David Zwirner in 2000, Williams has had five solo exhibitions at the gallery in New York.

Exhibitions with othersEdit



  1. ^ Getty Research, Union List of Artist Names Online
  2. ^ a b Mary M. Lane (May 18, 2013), The Photo Perfectionist With a Yen to Provoke The Wall Street Journal.
  3. ^ a b c Ken Johnson (art critic) (April 7, 2000),Art in Review; Christopher Williams The New York Times.
  4. ^ Christopher Williams: The Production Line of Happiness, August 2 – November 2, 2014
  5. ^ Suzanne Muchnic (June 30, 2009), MOCA curator Ann Goldstein to lead Amsterdam's Stedelijk Museum Los Angeles Times.
  6. ^ Tim Griffin "Christopher Williams: Galleria d'Arte Moderna, Bologna, Bologna," Artforum, January 2007.
  7. ^ Lütticken, 122
  8. ^ Roberta Smith (July 31, 2014), Kodak Moments, Deconstructed The New York Times.
  9. ^ a b This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s, February 11 – June 3, 2012 Archived February 3, 2014, at the Wayback Machine Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.
  10. ^ Christopher Williams, Angola to Vietnam (1989) Christie's Contemporary Art (Evening Sale), 16 May 2000, New York.
  11. ^ Philip Gefter (January 23, 2014), The Next Big Picture - With Cameras Optional, New Directions in Photography The New York Times.
  12. ^ Zwirner, David. "Exhibition Schedule Christopher Williams". Retrieved 19 April 2013.
  13. ^ Boucher, Brian. "Christopher Williams Exhibition Will Hit Art Institute, MoMA". Retrieved 19 April 2013.[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ "Christopher Williams". John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Announcing the Winners of The Paris Photo—Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards 2014", Aperture Foundation. Accessed 30 October 2015.
  17. ^ "Winners! Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards 2014". LensCulture. 18 November 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  18. ^ Russeth, Andrew (14 November 2014). "Aperture Announces 2014 Photobook Awards". ARTnews. Retrieved 30 October 2015.


External linksEdit