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Christopher Williams: The Production Line of Happiness at MoMA


11 West 53rd Street, NYC

Los Angeles-born conceptual cinematic and photographic artist Christopher Williams is given his first large-scale museum retrospective. (The exhibition also travels to Tate Modern and The Art Institute of Chicago). Happiness is an expansive overview of Williams’ work, both conceptual and expressive, always approachable, and often witty. One series includes all photographs from the John F. Kennedy Library that meet two conditions: it must be dated May 10, 1963 and it must show John F. Kennedy with his back turned to the camera. Other work references advertising photography, but executed with a brilliant resolution that looks nearly three-dimensional. More work focuses on the camera itself as subject. Many images float in isolation against light and dark backgrounds, directing the eye expressly to the object and its elements. Other exhibition pieces (the crate carrying the works to the MoMA exhibition for example) keep the visitor pleasantly reflective on the definition of art.

Concurrent MoMA Christopher Williams’ events include an evening with Christopher Williams and Chief Curator of Media and Performance Art Stuart Corner for a look at Williams’ engagement with cinema – September 15th, 7PM.

A symposium on Williams’ work is moderated by MoMA Senior Curator of Photography and exhibition organizer Roxana Marcoci – September 16th at 6PM.

While at Moma, enjoy a glass of wine at The Modern’s summer terrace overlooking the public sculpture garden.


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