September 14th, 2008

art

Art on Sunday: Christenberry, Green Warehouse

William Christenberry (born 1936)
Green Warehouse—Newbern, Alabama, 1978, printed 1981
Incorporated color coupler (Type C) print on paper
Green Warehouse--Newbern, Alabama
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

This photograph can be found in the collections of two different Washington museums: the Smithsonian American Art Museum, where I saw it back in 2006 as part of the exhibition Passing Time: the Art of William Christenberry, and the Corcoran Gallery, where I saw it just last week. One of the recurring themes in Christenberry's work is the vernacular architecture of Alabama, specifically that of Hale County, where he grew up and to which he returns every year to revisit his earlier subjects. Also on display at the Corcoran was a series of prints showing the same building -- a barbeque joint, if I recall -- over the course of thirty years or so. It was quite fascinating to see the literal decline and fall of a building play out in slow motion.
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