William Christenberry at Museum of American Art

Discussion in 'Book, Magazine, Gallery Reviews, Shows & Contests' started by c6h6o3, May 18, 2007.

  1. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    "Passing Time: The Art of William Christenberry" is now at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, 9th and G Sts. NW, Washington, DC. through July 8. The photographs in this exhibition can only be described as magnificent. I've never seen finer printing. Don't pass this up if you live anywhere around here. The museum is open until 7:00 PM on weekdays.

    I note from reading the exhibition catalogue that he teaches at the Corcoran School of Art. Hmmm....
     
  2. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    Oh, how I wish I could attend this!

    I was unaware of Christenberry until a few years ago when I was researching Southern artists and writers. As I became more familiar with his work and how he was inspired by Walker Evans, his photography and constructions simply left me in awe.

    His early photographic work was with a box Brownie. I think he now uses 8x10. He works in color photographs, mixed media paintings and constructions. His main photographic subject is vernacular architecture. Even if you make it to the exhibit, some people here may enjoy researching him on the web or library. There are several books of his work available, most of them being catalogs from his exhibits.
     
  3. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    The current issue of Art in America has an article about Christenberry and IIRC it was a review of this particular show. A good read for anyone with a few extra minutes near a Borders or Barnes and Noble bookstore.
     
  4. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    The chasm between the experience of viewing a reproduction of Christenberry's work and viewing the work itself is wider for this artist than just about any I can think of. A lot of his more famous pieces have always left me cold in reproduction, but the actual prints took my breath away. In addition to the media you mentioned, he also produces ink drawings and something he calls "ink transfer drawings".

    The photographs range in size from about 2.25" square to what I would estimate to be 48" square. There are numerous perfect little prints made from the Brownie negatives, all type C, 8x10 contact prints and enlargements from the 8x10 camera. I've seen dye transfer work which may be as good as this, but never anything better.

    There are also 2 digital prints made with pigmented inks that you will not believe. I would like to know if he used digital capture to make these photographs because they're as fine as anything I've ever seen with film. And they're the biggest prints in the show.