Offset Lithograph with glaze on paper.
145 x 195 cm [57 x 76.8 inches].
Edition of 10 works, accompanied by signed and numbered certificate.
Produced by Christopher Williams' studio.
About the work
Christopher Williams has generously donated a special limited edition of ten prints to the Whitechapel Gallery to coincide with the first UK retrospective of the American artist, Christopher Williams: The Production Line of Happiness. Taking the form and scale of a commercial poster, Untitled (Whitechapel Gallery, London), is the antithesis of what might be expected from an edition, as domestic in scale and made in multiple. In this case William’s edition dwarves the photographs in his exhibition, and contradicts the printing-process as one typically used for mass production.
The subject of the edition is a ‘Show Chicken’, a creature, which, like an artwork, exists to be looked at. Williams refers to this piece as a “real model image”, a standard image taken from a specialist form of popular culture, in this case a magazine on show chickens, which is then reproduced by Williams as closely as possible whilst introducing an element of difference.
Free-floating and advertising nothing, the openness of the image is matched by the openness of its possible interpretation. At the same time the picture is very specific both in its graphic composition and in the level of detail in the chicken’s pose and its address to the spectator.
About the artist
Christopher Williams was born in Los Angeles in 1956. In the 1970s, 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' 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.
Christopher Williams: The Production Line of Happiness marks the artist’s first major museum survey, which spans thirty-five years of work. The exhibition was first on view at The Art Institute of Chicago (January–May 2014), followed by The Museum of Modern Art, New York (July–November 2014), and Whitechapel Gallery, London (April-June 2015). In 2014, Williams was the first artist to receive the Photography Catalogue of the Year, presented by the Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards, for the two volumes specially designed and published on the occasion of his touring survey, The Production Line of Happiness (exhibition catalogue) and Printed in Germany (artist book).
Other recent solo exhibitions include seven exhibitions at David Zwirner Gallery and those held at Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen, Germany; Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle, Belgium (both 2011); Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Germany; Bergen Kunsthall, Norway (both 2010); Kunsthalle Zürich (2007); Museu Serralves, Porto, Portugal (2006); Secession, Vienna; and Kunstverein Braunschweig, Germany (both 2005).
Williams' work has been represented by David Zwirner since 2000.
This work can be purchased with Own Art, which allows you to spread the cost of your purchase over 10 months, completely interest free.
Typical 0% APR. Subject to status. Terms and conditions apply. Applicants must be at least 18 years old. Whitechapel Gallery is a licensed broker of Own Art loans. Registered address: Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High Street, London, E1 7QX.
We work with contemporary conservation framers Frame London to provide the best framing options for your Limited Edition. Contact us for more information.