Christopher Williams was born in Los Angeles in 1956. He lives and works in Cologne and Los Angeles. He studied at the California Institute of the Arts under the first wave of West Coast conceptual artists and became one of his generation’s leading conceptualists. Williams’s 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. His recent solo exhibitions include those held at Secession, Vienna; and Kunstverein Braunschweig, Germany (both 2005); Museu Serralves, Porto, Portugal (2006); Kunsthalle Zürich (2007); Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Germany; Bergen Kunsthall, Norway (both 2010); Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen, Germany (2011); Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle, Belgium (2011); The Art Institute of Chicago (2014), The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2014).
Museum collections which hold works by the artist include The Art Institute of Chicago; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Ludwig Museum, Cologne; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, Vienna; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.