Christopher Wool (b. 1955)
Christopher Wool (b. 1955)


Christopher Wool (b. 1955)
signed and dated 'Wool 1994' (on the reverse)
alkyd on paper
72¼ x 35 7/8in. (183.5 x 91cm.)
Executed in 1994
Eleni Koroneou Gallery, Athens.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1994.
Athens, Eleni Koroneou Gallery, The Supershadows of UNDERSTATEMENT. Christopher Wool, Ulli Strothjohann and special guest, 1994.


'With the paintings the inspiration is really internal. I get inspiration from the work and from the process of working. Painting is a visual medium, there to be looked at. For me, like listening to music, it's an emotional experience'
(C. Wool, quoted in 'Crosstown Crosstown at Dundee Contemporary Arts, 2003', viewable:, [accessed 17 September 2013]).

Executed in 1994, Untitled is a jostling abundance of flowers executed on Wool's characteristically large scale. The work was shown at the exhibition The Supershadows of UNDERSTATEMENT held at the Eleni Koroneou Gallery, Athens in 1994 where it was acquired by the present owner. The show was curated by Martin Kippenberger, a friend of Wool's known to him since at least the 1980s when both were exhibiting in Vienna.

Using the plethora of floral imagery established in his practice throughout the years, Wool overlays cartoon-like daisies over botanical wrought iron-gate patterns leaving the remnants of the square pattern to act as frames. The artist's final flourish is an overblown abstracted flower that, in its expansive glossy black petals, renders the reading of the order of his other flowers indiscernible. The viewer is rewarded for their endeavors with a rich and complex topography of overprinting expressed in the interplay of matte and glossy paint alkyds which engage the eye and invites closer examination.

Wool's pictorial language has been built on various visual and conceptual discourses. In its subject-matter, Untitled engages with the long legacy of floral still lifes in art history. The imagery, seriality and techniques of mechanical reproduction all find their roots in Pop Art. In its very facture and motif Untitled draws upon Andy Warhol's Flowers series in its industrial painting techniques to present a repeated floral motif. On the top third of the composition we see a ghostly pattern peeking through a brushy expanse of white paint, which acts as a 'tell' of sorts of the shift occurring in Wool's practice toward erasure. By using white not only as negative space but as a colour in its own right, Wool lifts his composition off the ground, making the layering and overpainting all the more acute. These elements are proof positive of Wool's stated interest in 'how to paint it' [rather] than 'what to paint'' (C. Wool, quoted in A. Goldstein (ed.), Christopher Wool, exh. cat., Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 1999, p. 258).

Wool has worked on paper throughout his career, making both studies for paintings and discrete works specifically conceived for the medium of which Untitled is one. His works on paper, which have been executed using both painted and unpainted surfaces, rollers, stamps, stencils, silkscreens and sprays enrich his practice through the incorporation of the materiality of the paper surface and the degree of the absorption of the paint.

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