Review: Christopher Williams MoMA

Review: Christopher Williams MoMA

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A photo of very pretty delightful laughing woman is wearing a yellow towel, and she has a yellow towel wrapped around her head. The background is plain dark grey, and to the upper left is a little card on a clip that allows the photo printer to match the colors exactly. This gives me confidence that the yellow in the towels is exactly the right yellow. I love this picture because the delightful laughing woman is so delightful and the yellow is exactly the right yellow.

There are many carefully made boring pictures in this show, Christopher Williams: “The Production Line of Happiness” at the Museum of Modern art. That is because Mr. Williams likes conceptual art, and wants to use normally uninteresting subject matter to say this and that about media and art in our society. Good!

My second favorite was a photo of hands in a sink holding a beautiful bar of orange-yellow soap. The unremarkable but cute sink is surrounded by cute 1960’s or 70’s patterned wall paper that remarkably has the same exact orange-yellow as the soap in the pattern. It is so wonderful it makes me feel like the world is going to be Ok.

What I didn’t like was the big chunk of museum wall with “info graphics” laying on the floor, and even worse, a big chunk of the wall of the Art Institute of Chicago museum was standing there on a dolly, with little holes in it where artwork had been hanging. I suppose this was an awareness of the artificiality of the museum environment or something.

Mr. Williams takes incredible pictures of photography equipment. I totally get this. I like his pictures of fruit and dead bugs too. So beautiful and real. Unfortunately the catalog for the show is a brainy book where Mr. Williams and his friend who are art critics and academics have written essays and odd juxtapositions of text. There are almost none of Mr. Willams excellent photographs. I kind of understand the intention of this, but I didn’t buy the catalog.

Anyway I recommend the show.
Christopher Williams: The Production Line of Happiness July 27–November 2, 2014

 

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