Pace/MacGill Gallery is pleased to present William Christenberry: Summer | Winter, a selection of photographic pairings juxtaposing views of the artist's signature Southern subjects in the summer and winter seasons. The exhibition will be on view from November 3, 2016 through January 21, 2017, with an opening reception for the public on Thursday, November 3 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm.
During pilgrimages to his native Hale County, Alabama, William Christenberry has recorded the changing appearance of the region's natural landscape and vernacular architecture in diverse formats and media since the early 1960s. His color photographs of rusted signage, winding dirt roads, and the weathered exteriors of humble structures present, with deceiving formal simplicity, prolonged studies of place that chronicle the passage of time in the rural South. Christenberry's most frequent subjects, such as Coleman's Cafe, Sprott Church, and the Palmist Building – often photographed straight-on and near the center of the frame – assume an iconic quality within his oeuvre as monuments of a disappearing past.
While many of Christenberry's images depict foliage and edifices in summer months, the works on view offer a unique opportunity to simultaneously study these same sites from a winter perspective. Verdant vegetation and overgrown kudzu become bare branches and bramble, and skies shift from blue to grey with the seasonal fluctuations in light. Viewed collectively, the pairs of photographs are not just records of the evolving identities of Southern buildings and terrains at varying times of year, but also meditations on the universal experience of stasis and change.
Recognized as a pioneer in color photography, William Christenberry (b. 1936, Tuscaloosa, Alabama) received a BFA and MFA in painting from the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. He has held teaching positions at the Corcoran College of Art and Design, Washington, D.C., Memphis State University, and the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa and is the recipient of numerous honors, including the Lyndhurst Foundation Prize (1982); a Guggenheim Fellowship (1984); a Washington D.C. Mayor's Arts Award (1986); the Alabama Prize (1989); an Art Matters, Inc., grant (1994); and an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa (1998).
Since his first solo show in 1961, Christenberry's work has been the subject of exhibitions worldwide, ten of which have been presented by Pace/MacGill Gallery. Most recently in 2013, Fundacion MAPFRE, Madrid organized a retrospective of over 300 of his photographs, sculptures, installation pieces, and found signs. His work is represented in institutional collections around the world, including the Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, Mass.; the Center for Creative Photography, Tucson; the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the George Eastman House, Rochester; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, among others.
Monographs include: William Christenberry: Southern Photographs (1983); William Christenberry: The Early Years, 1954-1968 (1996); William Christenberry: Art & Family (2000); William Christenberry (2002); William Christenberry (2006); William Christenberry: Working from Memory (2008); William Christenberry: Kodachromes (2010); and William Christenberry (2013).
For more information about William Christenberry: Summer | Winter or press requests, please contact Margaret Kelly at 212.759.7999 or email@example.com. For general inquiries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Palmist Building (Summer), Havana Junction, Alabama, 1980
Palmist Building (Winter), Havana Junction, Alabama, 1981
© William Christenberry
One of the world's leading photography galleries, Pace/MacGill has been dedicated to advancing fine art photography for over 30 years. Known for discovering artists, representing masters, and placing important collections and archives into major public institutions, Pace/MacGill has presented some 200 exhibitions and published numerous catalogues on modern and contemporary photography. Founded in 1983 by Peter MacGill, in collaboration with Arne Glimcher of Pace and Richard Solomon of Pace Editions, Pace/MacGill is located at 32 East 57th Street in New York City.