Courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Acquired through the generosity of the Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art © Christopher Williams.
Courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Acquired through the generosity of the Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art © Christopher Williams.

The artist Christopher Williams makes images that are as precise and sumptuous as any luxe advertising photograph, yet they are always slightly off: Clips on a model’s bra are visible, or a color chart hovers in the frame. He exposes and tweaks the conventions of photo production and distribution, processes that have been put into overdrive by digital media.“Everything is faster and faster these days,” says Williams, 58, whose first museum retrospective, “Christopher Williams: The Production Line of Happiness,” is at New York’s Museum of Modern Art through November 2. “The art world still provides us with this space to slow down and really look.” To that end, he has also designed an idiosyncratic layout for his show, the title of which comes from a documentary by Anne-Marie Miéville and, an enduring influence, Jean-Luc Godard. “Every square inch is just filled with ideas,” he says of Godard’s films. The same, of course, can be said of Williams’s own work.