HEMPHILL opens the Fall 2012 exhibition season with William Christenberry: Assembled Memory on Saturday, September 8, 2012, with a public reception from 6:00–8:00pm. The exhibition will remain on view through October 27, 2012.
William Christenberry: Assembled Memory brings together a diverse group of work from the earliest days of Christenberry’s career rooted in abstract expressionism, his mid-career, which speaks to the wonderment and pathos for the passage of time, and his more recent work, which expresses undercurrents of good and evil within our architectural heritage. With this selection spanning over 50 years and stretching seamlessly across a wide variety of media such as drawings, objects, photographs and sculpture, Christenberry offers us a forthright opportunity to analyze his larger ambitions.
Central to the installation of the exhibition is an elongated, elevated table. Made in the form of one of the artist's iconic Dream Building sculptures, this table contains a reservoir of red soil upon which Christenberry has placed more than 100 found objects. These objects—pieces of memorabilia, keepsakes, souvenirs and detritus—represent a small percentage of the personal talismans he has collected and preserved over a lifetime. This odd table and its carefully arranged objects serve as a kind of lexicon to the language of William Christenberry’s work. With this vocabulary, Christenberry guides us to the personal references that go into making art from and about memory. In the relationships among his found objects, the juxtaposition of earlier with later works, and the proximity of abstract content to the most literally descriptive photographs, Christenberry reveals his own process of remembering while demonstrating how we assemble collective memories.
The work of William Christenberry is held in the collections of The Birmingham Museum of Art, The J. Paul Getty Museum, The Hirshhorn Museum, The Menil Collection, The Museum of Modern Art, The Phillips Collection, The Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Stedelijk Museum, The Yale University Art Gallery, and others. His work is included in the exhibition, The Memory Project, at the Center for the Living Arts, Mobile, AL, through December 31, 2012.
Recent publications include William Christenberry: Working From Memory, Steidl Publishers (2008), William Christenberry: Kodachromes, Aperture (2010), and House Near Akron, Nazraeli Press (2012).