Integrating both mechanical and analogue processes, Christopher Wool is back at Max Hetzler Gallery presenting new works on paper and sculptures at the gallery’s London premises. The works on paper combine a silkscreen printing process, overpainted with oil and enamel; in these layered works Wool blurs the division between painting and printing, reproduction and original.
Sourced from the open landscape of the desert, the structure of the metal sculptures is drawn from tangled ranching wire found on the artist’s property in Marfa, Texas. The twisted and looping three-dimensional structures evidence Wool’s affinity for the line and continue his open-ended experimentation with form.
Since the early 1980’s, Christopher Wool explores the process and properties of painting itself. By reducing physical and compositorial principals and experimenting with different painting as well as reproduction techniques, he constantly broadens the notion of this medium. Methods of repetition, layering and erasing build major means of Wool’s artistic practice, focussing always on essential elements like form, line and colour.
The range of techniques Wool has used over the years makes reference to processes and gestures that have marked contemporary art history. His complex work encourages the viewer to reflect on the physical qualities of paint, reproduction and to be aware of painting procedures and the essential elements of the medium.
As Friedrich Meschede notes „Christopher Wool’s paintings seem to capture visual urban experience, carved out of a moment for the duration of an artwork – an artwork that coverts the structures of experience into the structures of painting. Non-specific moments and impressions are lifted out of context and fixed into details of a painting that, unlike graffiti, conveys the speed and concentration of its origin only when it is contemplated over a measure of time in an art space.
The dynamic of the picture’s conception becomes, very gradually, the dynamite of the thought it contains. Thought pictures.“ [Friedrich Meschede, The Nothingness before nothing in Christopher Wool, Galerie Max Hetzler and Holzwarth Publications, 2007 ]
Christopher Wool (*1955, Chicago) lives and works in New York and Marfa, Texas. Solo shows include the Hill Art Foundation, New York (2019); Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago (2014); Guggenheim Museum, New York (2013); Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris (2012); Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2009); Museu Serralves, Porto (2008); Camden Art Centre, London (2004); Secession, Vienna (2001); MOCA, Los Angeles and Kunsthalle Basel, Basel (both 1998). The artist’s work was included in the 54th Biennale di Venezia in 2011 and the 7th Biennale de Lyon in 2003.
A single-artist presentation of Christopher Wool’s work is currently on view at the Broad, Los Angeles until 31 December 2020. The in-depth installation features works spanning from 1985 to 2015.