PRINT December 2014

Tim Griffin

View of “Christopher Williams: The Production Line of Happiness,” 2014, Museum of Modern Art. From left: Untitled (Study in Yellow and Green / East Berlin) . . . , 2012; Clockwise from Manufacturer Name (Outer Ring) . . . , 2008; Window (with Window Cutaways) . . . , 2010; Kodak Three Point Reflection Guide / © 1968 . . . , 2005. Photo: Jonathan Muzikar.

LOCATED AT THE VERY HEART of Christopher Williams’s retrospective, “The Production Line of Happiness,” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York was an image that stood apart for seeming at once so incongruous and yet utterly representative of the artist’s oeuvre. Like so many of Williams’s works, this photograph takes its title from an exhaustive inventory of the circumstances of its making, beginning with TecTake Luxus Strandkorb grau/weiß/Model no.: 400636—naming the branded model of a beach chair and the online store from which it was purchased—before moving to the chair’s materials and the exact date and location of the artist’s shoot. The objects depicted within the image’s frame are similarly reflexive, including the canopied bench, the striped canvas and cushions of which immediately summon Williams’s earlier photograph of a Daniel Buren ceiling tile—a citation

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