I think of myself primarily as an abstract painter, but I find that in making paintings there is a little bit of investigation into what abstract painting can be.
—— Christopher Wool
Christopher Wool has critically examined the complexities of abstraction and representation through the use of techniques, processes, images and language drawn from popular and vernacular culture. Over a career that spans three decades, Wool continually questioned how to make a painting at a time when new possibilities for the medium seemed exhausted. From the 1970s on, Wool has worked in a multiplicity of styles and techniques, from gestural abstraction to printmaking, incorporating mechanical means such as stenciling, rubber stamps, rollers and silk-screens in a wide range of formats. From photography to his recent spray and drip paintings, Wool continues to expand his repertoire of images, ranging from monochromatic lettering to smeared calligraphy in over-painted and erased abstractions.Throughout his vast creative repertoire, Wool has maintained a commitment to process. Christopher Wool’s artistic stance resonates the flair of Philip Guston and Robert Ryman. Each of the artists continued with gestural painting without resorting to mimicry, re-coining the form of abstract painting in their own voice. Conceptual art has shaped Wool’s interest in exploring how images communicate, yet he works with materials and motifs that also reflect the influence of appropriation, street art, pop art, and minimalism.
Born in Boston, MA, Wool attended Sarah Lawrence College and later studied at the New York Studio School, where he joined New York’s art scene. His outstanding work earned him a retrospective in 1998 organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. He was also chosen to exhibit in ILLUMInations at the 54th Venice Biennale. His work has also been exhibited at numerous institutions around the world, including the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Gesellschaft für Moderne Kunst am Museum Ludwig in Cologne, the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in Paris, and at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. The artist currently lives and works in New York, NY.