Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object
{{img.publicCaption}}

Grande Dixence, Val de Dix, Switzerland, August 2, 1993

Artist:
Christopher Williams (American, born 1956)
Date:
1993
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
Image: 27.9 x 35.6 cm (11 x 14 in.) each Frame: 64.5 x 74.6 cm (25 3/8 x 29 3/8 in.) each
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Purchase, Alfred Stieglitz Society, Pamela and Arthur Sanders and The Carol and Arthur Goldberg Collection Gifts, 2006
Accession Number:
2006.282a–g
Not on view
This work is one of the highlights of Williams's decade-long project For Example: Die Welt ist Schön, whose subtitle (in English, The World Is Beautiful) refers to a seminal 1928 book by Albert Renger-Patzsch which used the camera's powers of precision to describe a harmonious world of nature and technology intertwined. Like his mentors Michael Asher and Douglas Huebler, with whom he studied at CalArts in the early 1980s, Williams is a master of subtle displacements in the existing order of things. Each individual work in For Example: Die Welt ist Schön (often made up of multiple views) revisits and comments on a particular photographic genre or tradition. The Grande Dixence suite refers to the muscular landscapes of early-twentieth-century American photography, such as Margaret Bourke-White's iconic 1936 image of the Hoover Dam. The work also serves as a curtain raiser for Williams's retrospective look at the last century, an ode to the electricity and energy-through the figure of the dam-that fueled the machine age and its utopian aspirations. While possessed of a cool, almost European detachment, Williams orchestrates the viewer's expectations and responses by invoking the epic sweep of industrial photography from an earlier era, with its optimistic eye for future use-only to detour into a slow, circular, almost elegiac progression around a site now teeming with sightseers and Sunday hikers along the "boulevard" of the dam's ridge.
[David Zwirner, New York]

Related Objects

Erratum AGFA Color (oversaturated) [see notes for complete title]

Artist: Christopher Williams (American, born 1956) Date: 2000 Medium: Chromogenic print Accession: 2008.100 On view in:Not on view

3 White (DG's Mr. Postman) Fourth Race, Phoenix Greyhound Park, Phoenix, Arizona, August 22, 1994

Artist: Christopher Williams (American, born 1956) Date: 1994 Medium: Gelatin silver print Accession: 2003.451 On view in:Not on view

El Morocco, New York

Artist: Garry Winogrand (American, 1928–1984) Date: 1955 Medium: Gelatin silver print Accession: 1992.5107 On view in:The Met Floor 2