Synopses & Reviews
This book throws the recent developments in the work of American artist Christopher Wool into sharp focus. Eleven paintings and large-format silkscreens from 2007 that were exhibited together at Galerie Max Hetzler in Berlin are presented on beautiful tip-in color plates that reveal all the richness of nuances in an oeuvre which has become ever more subtle, ever more painterly. This is abstract art that no longer has anything to do with denial, as Friedrich Meschede writes in his essay: If I should attempt to describe it through language, it seems to me that Christopher Wool wants to give expression to the nothingness before nothing, and to do so exclusively through the pictorial means of the elementally visible, with no terms attached. Christopher Wool neither insists on nor attacks anything. What he does attempt is to re-think the terms you arrive at when viewing his pictures.
Published on the occasion of Christopher Wool's 2008 exhibition at New York's Skarstedt Gallery, this concise collection of 17 black-and-white pattern paintings made between 1987 and 2000, set alongside 10 installation shots, serves as historic documentation of works that have rarely been shown or published, but which remain perennially influential. Born in Chicago in 1955, Wool came to prominence in New York in the 1980s with his graffiti-like text paintings, which are full of slang, song lyrics and action painting drips. Loved and loathed by critics, Wool has been described by the Village Voice's Jerry Saltz as, a very pure version of something dissonant and poignant. His all-or-nothing, caustic-cerebral, ambivalent-belligerent gambit is riveting and even a little thrilling. It's what makes him one of the more optically alive painters out there.