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Christopher Wool

Sell the house, sell the car, sell the kids'"

American,  b. 1955

Biography of Christopher Wool  

Christopher Wool, a titan of contemporary painting, has carved a unique path through the art world. Born in Chicago in 1955, his artistic journey began with studies under postwar abstract painters. However, the allure of the downtown New York scene in the late 1970s proved irresistible. He immersed himself in the city's vibrant underground film and music scene, briefly flirting with filmmaking before returning to painting with renewed focus.

Wool's early works explored figuration, but by the 1980s, a shift towards abstraction emerged. He became a pioneer in incorporating elements of text and pop culture into his paintings. His signature technique involved using stencils and rollers to create layered compositions with black text often fragmented or obscured. This interplay of chance and manipulation created a sense of ambiguity, forcing viewers to grapple with the underlying messages, if any.

Wool's work resonated with the Neo-Expressionist movement, challenging the dominance of conceptual art in the previous decade. The "Black Book" series (1989) exemplifies this perfectly, utilizing stencils and black text to create stark, layered abstractions. His exploration of text and abstraction continues to influence contemporary art, solidifying his position as a major figure.

Today, Wool's work graces prestigious collections worldwide and commands high prices at auction. He continues to push boundaries, living and working between New York City and Marfa, Texas. His legacy lies in his ability to bridge the gap between text and abstraction, leaving viewers with enigmatic yet thought-provoking experiences.

About the Christopher Wool Art Market 

Christopher Wool's art market is a complex landscape, reflecting the artist's own enigmatic persona and the ever-evolving contemporary art scene. Early in his career, Wool's work wasn't widely recognized, and pieces could be acquired for relatively modest sums. However, as the 1990s progressed and his signature style solidified, a dramatic shift occurred.

The turning point came with the "Riot" series (1990), a collection of large-scale abstract paintings incorporating his signature black text stencils. These works garnered significant critical acclaim, propelling Wool into the spotlight and igniting a surge in market value. By the late 2000s, his paintings regularly commanded seven-figure sums at auction, solidifying his position as a blue-chip artist.

Today, the market for Wool's work remains robust, with prices fluctuating based on size, medium, and series. Paintings from his most celebrated series, like "Riot" and "Black Book," consistently fetch the highest prices. 

Whether driven by artistic appreciation or investment potential, collectors continue to flock to Wool's work. His paintings offer a captivating intersection of abstraction, text, and ambiguity, sparking conversation and challenging artistic boundaries. 

Christoper Wool  Prints & Editions For Sale 

11 products