Christopher Wool - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Friday, October 16, 2009 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Luhring Augustine, New York

  • Exhibited

    London, Camden Arts Centre, Christopher Wool, 31 January - 11 April, 2004; Karlsruhe, Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie, Painting: Herbert Brandl, Helmut Dorner, Adrian Schiess, Christopher Wool, 29 May - 08 August 2004

  • Literature

    Exhibition catalogue, Camden Arts Centre, Christopher Wool, London, 2004, n.p. (illustrated); Exhibition catalogue, Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie, Painting: Herbert Brandl, Helmut Dorner, Adrian Schiess, Christopher Wool, Karlsruhe, 2004 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Christopher Wool's Double Blue Nose is rather unique within the American artist's extensive and highly acclaimed oeuvre. Whereas the majority of his recent works are predominantly untitled and executed in black and white, the present lot, a large scale silkscreen on canvas, is titled and incorporates colour. In creating Double Blue Nose, Wool took photographs of his previous paintings and collaged them on the computer before making this new image into a silkscreen in which the grain of the reproduction process is patently visible. The silkscreen works, besides being a convincing permutation of his earlier techniques, exhibit a new shred of fruitful indifference. The swooping lines and intermittent drips might at first recall the imagery of Jackson Pollock or Brice Marden, but more fundamentally they refer to the long history of the painterly gesture in general- the constant urge toward mark-making and a conflicting compulsion toward erasure.
    'The power of Wool's work is entrenched in its labor-intensive emphasis both on the act of painting and on painting's constituent elements. In Wool's pieces we are perpetually returned to an analysis of form, line, color, frame and frontal composition. The result of this approach is a sharp emphasis on the surface of the work as a site of formation and interpretation, and a commensurate focus on the practice of image-making. Wool's ambition is to incorporate into the work a sustained consciousness of art-making's activity. Further, the compressed compositions carried on skin-thin surfaces convey in their tactility an awareness that these paintings cannot in any actual sense embody transcendence or grandeur. This is an inescapable aspect of present circumstance. In fact, Wool's work deliberately prevents a swift and unencumbered apprehension 'for the purpose of awakening in the spectator the uneasiness with which the perception of a painting should be accompanied'." (M. Grynsztejn, Unfinished Business, in 'A. Goldstein, Christopher Wool, Los Angeles, 1999, p. 265)   


Double Blue Nose (P422)

Silkscreen ink on linen.
244 x 183 cm. (96 1/8 x 72 in).
Signed, titled and dated 'Wool 2003 (P422)' twice on the reverse.

£100,000 - 150,000 

Sold for £193,250

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

17 Oct 2009