Christopher Wool

American, b. 1955

6 + 4 (Portfolio of Ten Works), 2005, Aquatint, softground and line etching on paper, each are 10 1/2 x 8 inches


Contemporary artist, Christopher Wool was born in 1955. He studied at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York, New York Studio School and New York University. Wool is known for his paintings of large, black, stenciled letters on a white canvas resembling a sign or billboard. Although his most recognizable works are those with the black lettering, Wool started out by painting in drips and splatters like Pollock. He ventured through phases of flower and leaf motifs before arriving at his homemade versions of the lettered paintings. 

His materials are basic and for the most part are readily available; generic stencils, black alkyd, rubber roller, etc. The printed words on his canvases are taken from movies, books and advertisements. The phrases are strategically centered on the canvas so that the words run together, creating an abstract form as well as a message. The text is difficult to read so that the viewer is held there to decipher it and experience the piece as a pattern that contradicts the meaning of the words. The definition of the experience in based on the spectator's familiarity and association with the text. 

Wool has exhibited his work at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne, Germany and the Carnegie Museum of Art among many other museums and galleries.