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    Sale 7738

    Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction

    30 June 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 6

    Christopher Wool (b. 1955)

    Untitled (P278)

    Price Realised  


    Christopher Wool (b. 1955)
    Untitled (P278)
    signed, titled, numbered and dated 'WOOL 1998 Untitled P278' (on the stretcher)
    enamel on canvas
    108 x 72in. (274.5 x 183cm.)
    Executed in 1998

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    Untitled (P278) represents a body of work in which Christopher Wool has layered found decorative motifs into an anarchic cacophony of symbols and slippages. Executed in 1998, this confused collection of noughts, crosses and undulating lines reminiscent of tic-tac-toe games or proof-reader's signs float in a porous field of white space, which easily exposes the half-controlled, half-impulsive process of the painting's own making. The successive building of imagery creates a kind of gritty visual static that has been enhanced by the detached pictorial marks and frame lines that are the inevitable result of casual application.

    By partially surrendering control over artistic output in this way, Wool consciously addresses with the problems of image-making today, contrasting a sense of doubt in the significance of painting with his continued belief in the medium. This practice demonstrates how Wool has absorbed and consolidated into his own vocabulary the lessons of post-war American art, including the 'all-over' surfaces of painterly abstraction, Pop's engagement with mechanised production and vernacular subjects as well as Minimalism's emphatic denial of the author. An awareness of these modes have brought about the inherent contradictions in Wool's work, where notions of the abstract and figurative, painting versus print, picture and process are united in order to explore the boundaries of painting, whilst opening up entirely new possibilities for art production and discourse.

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    Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York.
    Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2003.

    Saleroom Notice

    Please note that this work is also included in the following literature reference:
    H. W. Holzwarth (ed.), Christopher Wool, New York 2008 (illustrated, p. 224).


    Christopher Wool, exh. cat., Valenciá, IVAM, Institut Valenciá d'Art Modern, 2006 (installation views illustrated in colour, pp. 22-23).
    H. W. Holzwarth (ed.), Christopher Wool, New York 2008 (illustrated, p. 224).


    Berlin, Max Hetzler, Christopher Wool, October-November 1998.