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Place(s) of work: New York (us)
Chicago-born painter Christopher Wool utilizes elements of street art to negate traditional painterly concerns of representation, color and technique. His relocation to New York in the 70s and subsequent involvement in the post-punk No Wave scene imbued his canvases with the immediacy of raw, visceral urban life. He rose to prominence in the mid-80s with text paintings composed of stacked letters like “DRNK” and “TRBL” that often fell just short of forming words, providing a variety of associative possibilities despite the stark aesthetic. Later collaborations with post-punk writer and poet Richard Hell heightened the verbal-visual quality of his works, further blurring the lines between reading and viewing.
As part of his rebellion against traditional painterly techniques, Wool often replaces the paintbrush with spray guns and paint rollers. A series created in the 1990s used readymade wallpapers in lieu of canvas--a re-appropriation of banal materials became a springboard for later work that is similarly spontaneous and organic. “I tend to work pretty intuitively,” Wool has said, “so that where my painting will end up is often not determined beforehand.”
Wool's recent work tends toward simplified abstractions, often a single continuous spray of paint, undulating across a canvas with a sense of post-punk rebellion and resilience--dripping, splattered, and nonchalant in their bluntness and simplicity. Wool's paintings can be striking for their height, with some canvases over 10-feet high. Yet despite this scale, Wool manages to preserve the anti-monumental urban aesthetic that he continues to champion.
Watch a tour of Wool's 2008 show at Luhrig Augustine [courtesy of Marcelo's Art Vlog]:(read less)
Techniques & Media: Painting
Inspirations & Key Themes: Graffiti, New Wave, Street Art
Employed : Josh Smith
Influenced by : Jackson Pollock , Andy Warhol
Worked with : Martin Kippenberger
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Christopher Wool Shows
July 16th 2009 - August 8th 2009
May 9th 2009 - May 14th 2009
May 8th 2009 - May 12th 2009
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