Now at the Museum of Modern Art through November 2nd, 2014, Christopher Williams: The Production Line of Happiness serves as a comprehensive overview of the 35-year-long career of the influential artist. Part of the first wave of West Coast Conceptual artists, Christopher Williams graduated from the California Institute of the Arts and went on to become a preeminent conceptual artist and art professor at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. His artistic legacy has fervently pursued notions of commercialism, production, capitalism, and process, and the execution of this retrospective very clearly outlines those themes.
Throughout, Williams flows smoothly through ideas of the object and its nature, subverting curatorial signifiers while creating a museum experience that is simultaneously invigorating and jarring. The images on the walls are hung noticeably lower than is customary, and images often repeat themselves, as though the directions for hanging the show had somehow been scrambled. One wall is constructed of cinderblocks, and boasts only one image, while another is boldly interrupted by a line of blue paint, while a photograph hangs directly over the streak. There is also a series of appropriated imagery of John F. Kennedy that seemingly exists in world all its own.