In his first exhibition in a London public gallery, eminent and highly influential New York-based artist Christopher Wool showed seventeen new large-scale paintings.
The instinct to read abstract works in figurative terms is challenged by Wool’s many-layered paintings. Materials and processes such as spray paint and screen print are painstakingly built up and then partly removed. The resulting marks resist interpretation, liberating the viewer to become fully absorbed in the intricacies of the paintings.
From the late 1980s to the early 1990s, Wool’s paintings utilised large black stencilled or sprayed letters on white panels. At the same time, he also developed pattern works, introducing repeat foliage forms using rubber rollers, making patterns similar to textiles or wallpaper covering.
The paintings developed from both these styles and share the gritty, urban feel of the earlier works.