William Christenberry: Tracing a Line is the first significant exhibition to examine the importance of drawing in the artist’s overall process while illuminating varied approaches to his subjects and themes.
Alabama native William Christenberry (American, born 1936) has received widespread acclaim and recognition for his photographs and sculptures that capture a place Christenberry knew well, Hale County, Alabama. Blending universal themes with personal explorations his work “expresses my life, where I’m from and what I care about and react to.” While working in a wide range of materials, Christenberry continuously utilized drawing to further his ideas.
Some drawings reference the early influence of Abstract Expressionism while he renders others more realistically, yet all clearly relate to ideas further developed in his paintings, photographs, and sculptures. Each drawing demonstrates immediacy unseen in his well-known photographs. The movement, spare lines, and confident strokes of ink on paper—made with a variety of tools including pens, brushes, chopsticks, and twigs—convey the intersection of time and memory that encompass all of the artist’s works. By pairing selected photographs and sculptures with a large collection of drawings, William Christenberry: Tracing a Line allows a comprehensive picture of Christenberry’s artistic process to emerge.
Above: Photograph of the 2015 installation of the exhibition at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.
Blending universal themes with personal explorations his work “expresses my life, where I’m from and what I care about and react to.”
Organized by the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama.
Sponsored by Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama, LLC, and Co-Sponsored by Laura and Barry Harmon and USAmeriBank