14 February 2013
Christopher Wool (b. 1955)
embossed with the artist's signature 'WOOL' (lower right)
alkyd on paper
74 3/8 x 37¾in. (188.9 x 95.9cm.)
Executed in 1990
Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1991.
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New York, Luhring Augustine Gallery, Christopher Wool: Works on Paper, 1991 (illustrated, unpaged).
Munich, Sammlung Goetz, New York Painters, 1993-1994 (illustrated, p. 60).
At a time when Neo-Expressionism was espousing the romantic and expressive qualities of painting, Christopher Wool was exploring a multiplicity of techniques, including those of printmaking, to test the conceptual and visual limitations of painting. The magnified images that dominate Untitled are characteristic of Wool's ability to vacillate between decoration and abstraction, utility and aesthetic tradition. This work provides the viewer with both abstract and figurative qualities, and recalls the stenciled figures tagged around the urban environment of Post-punk New York that nourished aspects of Wool's distinct aesthetic. Each symbol can be read as multiple characters, or different manifestations of one. The result is an effortless marriage of the coolness of Pop art with the deceptive simplicity of Abstract Expressionism
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