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Artist William Christenberry Shares His Heritage Through Sculpture

Date: Oct. 15, 2001
By: Keesha Nickison
Phone: (513) 556-1824
Photos by:
Archive: General News

William Christenberry, renowned photographer, sculptor and painter, will exhibit his work at University of Cincinnati Oct. 5- Nov. 21 at the Reed Gallery in the Aronoff Center for Design and Art, located on the fifth of the College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP). A native of Alabama, Christenberry has continually used the landscape of his southern home as the inspiration of his work. Sculpture by William Christenberry

"Visiting the county of Hale, Ala. at least once a year, the artist has returned repeatedly to familiar buildings that have caught his eye, documenting the effects of time, weather and human activity on unpretentious examples of vernacular architecture. Those who know Christenberry and his work know that there is a story behind virtually every object or photograph he has produced," writes Anne Timpano, director of DAAP Galleries and curator of this exhibition. Timpano has spent the last three years conversing with Christenberry and organizing what is now to be the "most complex show ever presented at DAAP."

Christenberry has said, "I'm not interested in just recording the vernacular, but how time and the elements affect things. This has intrigued me for many, many years. But it's not linked with nostalgia for something gone, but a strong degree of sentiment for that which I've known throughout my life. And if nothing else, my work both photographically and in terms of some of the sculptures will be a kind of a record of that aspect of vernacular architecture that's gone."

Said one admirer of his work to Christenberry, "I have to tell you, what you are in the process of creating is a major conceptual work of art based on your life and where you're from and what you care about." Christenberry says, "That's the way I've perceived this for years. But a large audience doesn't know this. That's the reason I'm pleased with what you (Timpano) have in mind, to stress the architectural aspect of it." Sculpture by William Christenberry

At DAAP's Reed Gallery, Christenberry will exhibit a number of sculptures from several series of work that span more than 20 years. Some of them have been borrowed from private and public collections, which were generously lent from all over the nation. Exhibited with the sculptures will be a variety of photographs, drawings, prints and paintings that provide context for the sculptures and demonstrate the depth with which Christenberry has explored his interest in architectural forms. The exhibit will be opened with a preview reception on Thursday, Oct. 4 from 6-8 p.m. Christenberry will be present and will deliver an illustrated talk about his work, beginning at 6 p.m. The lecture is free and open to the public. A 60-page exhibition catalogue featuring an interview with the artist will accompany the exhibition and will be available for purchase at the Reed Gallery.

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