Christopher Wool - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Afternoon Session New York Wednesday, May 15, 2019 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Luhring Augustine, New York
    Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1990

  • Catalogue Essay

    Oscillating between the abstract and the figurative, the mechanical and the handmade, the stenciled black figures of Christopher Wool’s Untitled, 1990 appear suspended in mid-air against a white surface. The monochrome figures, reminiscent of primitive depictions of the human form, are a recurring motif in the artist’s practice. The repetitious nature of the composition pushes the boundaries of image production and reproduction in contemporary art. As Ann Goldstein explains, “through process, technique, scale, composition, and imagery, Wool’s work accentuates the tensions and contradictions between the act of painting, the construction of a picture, its physical attributes, the visual experience of looking at it, and the possibilities of playing with and pushing open the thresholds of its meanings. They are defined by what they’re not—and what they hold back” (Ann Goldstein, Christopher Wool, exh. cat., The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 1998, p. 263).

    In an exploration of the relationship between painting and process, Wool’s stenciled works on paper pay homage to Pop predecessors like Andy Warhol, whose developments in silkscreen printing propelled his artistic ambition to become as machine-like as possible. Decades later, Wool embraces these tenets by employing a variety of appropriated symbols, his own novel application techniques, and compositional variety, developing a unique visual vocabulary that reestablishes the primacy of contemporary painting.



embossed with the artist's signature "WOOL" lower right
enamel on rice paper
74 x 37 1/2 in. (188 x 95.3 cm.)
Executed in 1990.

$120,000 - 180,000 

Contact Specialist
Rebekah Bowling
Head of Day Sale, Afternoon Session
New York
+ 1 212 940 1250

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Afternoon Session

New York Auction 15 May | On View at 450 Park Avenue