KodachromesPhotographs by William Christenberry
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William Christenberry: Kodachromes is the first publication to showcase the artist's stunning and previously unknown body of work produced with 35 mm Kodachrome slide film. Spanning from 1964 to 2007, only a small number of the images have ever been published or exhibited. As in all of Christenberry's photographs, the subject matter is the rural Deep South: the twisting back roads, open landscapes, rusted signage, and ramshackle vernacular architecture found in Hale County, Alabama where the artist was born and raised.
Though many of the sites pictured in this collection are new, other subjects grew iconic in Christenberry's oeuvre as he has returned to photograph them for decades—the red building in the forest, Sprott Church, the Palmist Sign, and the Bar-B-Q Inn. However, the photographs in William Christenberry: Kodachromes, made with a camera that allowed for greater mobility, reveal new ways of considering Christenberry's perennial subjects, offering insight into the working method of this venerable artist. With the recent discontinuation of Kodachrome film by Kodak, the work in this beautiful volume is rendered even more meaningful.
William Christenberry (born in Hale County, Alabama, 1936) has been a professor at the Corcoran College of Art + Design, Washington, D.C., since 1968. His work has been the subject of dozens of shows, including a yearlong solo exhibition at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in 2006, where his work is in the permanent collection. It can also be found at the Museum of Modern Art and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, Arizona.
Richard B. Woodward (essay) is an art critic based in New York who frequently writes about photography.