Christopher Wool’s paintings and prints investigate the interplay of image, text, and pattern. They typically feature illegible scrawls or cryptic, unfriendly found phrases that are stencilled or painted in black on pure white fields. Spray-paint marks and screen-printed components (some of which are stolen from his previous works) are applied to the compositions at regular intervals, with the artist erasing and relayering as he goes. His technique, which emphasises the possibility of replication, appropriation, and accumulation, is as important as the results.
Wool makes big, black, stencilled letters on white canvases, although he also works in other genres. By using a range of painting methods, such as spray painting, hand painting, and screen printing, he creates tension between painting and erasing, gesture and removal, depth and flatness, and other notions. By applying layer upon layer of whites and off-whites over screen-printed elements used in previous works, such as monochrome forms taken from reproductions, enlargements of photographic details, screens, and Polaroids of his own paintings, he builds up the surface of his pressurised paintings while seemingly voiding their very substance.