Christopher Wool - Contemporary Art Evening Sale New York Monday, November 11, 2013 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Private Collection

  • Catalogue Essay

    “Is it a painting or a process?....You take color out, you take gesture out --- and then later you can put them in. But it’s easier to define things by what they’re not than by what they are.” – Christopher Wool

    Christopher Wool’s unique artistic style began to take shape in the New York art scene of the 1970s. Ever since, he has continually tested the confines of painting and process-based art. Over the course of the past thirty years, Wool has embraced techniques that have continually pushed against the traditional notions of the medium, including silk-screening, print making and stenciling. Wool moves effortlessly from sharp fragmented graffiti phrases reminiscent of punk rock lyrics to white canvases adorned with the delicate floral patterning of wallpaper. His graceful markings, punchy phrases and drip paintings are often executed in black and white and make no grand gestures toward revealing an underlying subject of the physical act of creating. Looking at the present lot, one could imagine Wool splattering the paint onto the paper, with a nod to Jackson Pollock’s infamous drip paintings, reminding the viewer that the act of artistic creation may or may not be the byproduct of a series of very choreographed movements.

    Wool utilizes alkyd, a viscous enamel that he drips with great intent onto the surface of the paper, as seen in Untitled, 2000; each individual paint drop is clearly outlined, yet collectively they have a sense of movement sweeping them up and off the page. The ebony sprays of alkyd sweep across the surface, washing the sheet with a waterfall of jet black inks. Wool’s work explores the tension between an artist and his output; as Wool says “Painting, for me, is often a struggle between the planned and the unforeseen. The best paintings are the ones that you could not have imagined before you began…” (H. W. Holzwarth, ed., Christopher Wool, New York, 2008, p. 266)



alkyd on paper
65 3/4 x 45 7/8 in. (167 x 116.5 cm.)
Blind stamped "Wool" lower right; further signed and dated "Wool 2000" on the reverse.

$200,000 - 300,000 

Sold for $341,000

Contact Specialist
Zach Miner
Head of Evening Sale
+1 212 940 1256

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

New York 11 November 2013 7PM