Christopher Williams, ‘Togo (Blauschka Model 439, 1894. Genus no. 5081. Family, Sterculiaceae. Colla acuminata [Beauv.] Schott and Endl. Cola Nut, Goora Nut’, 1989, Skinner

From the series Angola to Vietnam*, in an edition of 5.

Image size 13.25 x 10 in. (33.5 x 25.2 cm), framed.

N.B. Christopher Williams is a conceptual artist and fine art photographer whose work investigates the medium of photography, as well as the institutional world of archives and museums as demonstrated by his portfolio Angola to Vietnam*. The photographs in the series capture flower replicas from the Harvard Botanical Museum's Ware Collection of Blaschka Glass Models, made between 1887 and 1936. As stated by the Museum of Modern Art, New York, where Williams's work was the subject of a major retrospective in 2014, "by choosing to photograph glass flower models from countries where political disappearances were recorded in 1985, Williams reclassifies them by country of origin rather than by the museum's system. Over the institution's botanical classification, based on science, the artist proposes another, based on politics, underlining the biased nature of any classification system" (

Condition: Good. Sheet measures 14 x 11 in. (35.6 x 28.0 cm) and is hinged with linen tape at upper corners and l.c. Framed with glass. No additional issues to report. — The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging. Condition requests can be obtained via email (lot inquiry button) or by telephone to the appropriate gallery location (Boston/617.350.5400 or Marlborough/508.970.3000). Any condition statement given, as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Skinner Inc. shall have no responsibility for any error or omission.—Courtesy of Skinner

Signature: Titled, dated, numbered, and signed "...5/5 Williams" in pencil on the verso along bottom edge, identified on a label from Luhring Augustine, New York, affixed to the backing.

Estate of Richard E. Anderson, New York, New York/Redding, Connecticut.

About Christopher Williams

The often-opaque themes in Christopher Williams’s works have in common the artist’s fascination with obsolescence and the relationship between photographs and the objects they document. Known for his high-gloss, crisply focused photographs, reminiscent of the commercial photography of a bygone era, Williams’s subjects range from stacked Ritter Sport chocolate bars to old cameras that have outlived their usefulness. Williams ironically references the practice of retouching in advertising by highlighting the small but conspicuous imperfections in his own subjects or, as in the case of Kodak Three Point Reflection Guide, © 1968 Eastman Kodak Company, 1968 (Corn) (2003), trying to ‘sell’ a food item that is clearly made out of plastic. Former Editor-in-Chief of Artforum Tim Griffin described Williams’s approach as “sociophotographic,” meaning that the work explores underlying codes within photography, advertising, and ethnography (the study of human cultures).

American, b. 1956, Los Angeles, California, based in Cologne, Düsseldorf, and Amsterdam

Group Shows

Le Consortium, 
Dijon, France,
The World as Will and Wallpaper