For over 30 years, Christopher Wool has been exploring the complexities of abstract painting by constantly questioning the medium with ever fresh means: the use of repetition, of methods from conceptual and minimal art, the adaptation of photographic images, and working with such different techniques as spray-paint, silkscreen and digital reproduction. The exhibition, which was designed in close collaboration with the artist, focuses on more than thirty large-format works painted between 2000 and 2011.
Christopher Wool, who was born in Chicago in 1955, emerged onto the New York scene during the mid-1980’s along with artists Jeff Koons, Cady Noland, and Robert Gober, Wool has always been a painter first and foremost, and his approach to the limits of that medium continue to prove an inspiration to a younger generation.
During the 1990s, Wool established himself with work that had a stark, street-wise aesthetic: mostly black-and-white abstractions of patterns and painterly gestures, or stencilled word paintings that directly addressed the viewer with dead-pan humour.
In the new millennium, the pictorial construction of his paintings underwent a profound metamorphosis. The pictorial elements – often spray-painted black lines or photographic images of previous pictures silkscreened onto the canvas – became more and more compositionally complex and diffuse.
His recent paintings selected for this exhibition combine silkscreen printing techniques with hand-painted passages. Between improvisation and composition, these paintings in different media expose a hard-earned freedom .
Christopher Wool’s work has been the subject of a number of international museum exhibitions, including those at the Museum Boymans van Beuningen (Rotterdam) in 1991, the Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles) in 1998, the Musée d’Art moderne et contemporain in Strasbourg in 2006 and the Ludwig Museum (Cologne) in 2009. In 2011, the artist took part in the Venice Biennale. In 2013, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York will organise a major Christopher Wool retrospective.
Authors: John Corbett, Fabrice Hergott, John Kelsey