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Since the early 1960s, William Christenberry has plumbed the regional identity of the American South, focusing his attention on Hale County, Alabama, from which he hails. Although Christenberry is most often associated with and recognized as a pioneer in the field of American color photography, his vision is multifaceted and rendered through an unorthodox mix of media that includes sculpture, drawing, painting, and found-object assemblage. To understand the full scope and complexity of his personal investigation of the South and his own heritage, it is essential to consider these various media together. Christenberry’s theme, however, is singular: the history, the very story of place, is at the heart of his project. An affection for literature and the distinctly southern tradition of oral history informs his work. Christenberry’s poetic documentation of vernacular architecture, signage, and landscape captures moments of quiet beauty in a sometimes mythic terrain that, with its worn iconography and buildings turned ramshackle, evokes the form and power of the passage of time. Since relocating to Washington, D.C., in 1968, Christenberry has dutifully returned to photograph the same locations annually—the green barn, the palmist building, the Bar-B-Q Inn, among others—fulfilling a personal ritual and documenting the physical changes wrought by the passing of a year. More than half the work in this comprehensive survey of Christenberry’s oeuvre is previously unpublished, including a stunning selection of his never-before-seen photographs shot in Kodachrome. Publication will coincide with a major exhibition at the Smithsonian American Art Museum opening in the summer of 2006 and a simultaneous show at the Aperture Gallery.