New York

Christopher Williams

Luhring Augustine | Chelsea

Christopher Williams’ photographs possess a treacherous wit. Virtually all are parts of different, seemingly open-ended series, each image an ironic revision of a previous one, though ultimately it is unclear what comes before and what after. There are larger ironies: For example, die Welt ist schön (Revision 1), 1993, alludes to the title of Albert Renger-Patzsch’s famous 1928 book. (Renger-Patzsch wanted to call it simply Things, but his publisher decided otherwise, ruining the photographer’s reputation among the leftist cognoscenti, who knew the world is not beautiful.) Williams’ photographs depict a sort of invented funny-ugly-absurd thing (why did he have to invent one, when there are so many around?) from a variety of angles, each of which seems to compete with the other for a monopoly on funny-ugly-absurdity.

On a more conceptual level, this series demonstrates how no single point

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