- Christopher Wool
- signed, titled, dated 1992, and inscribed S87 on the reverse
- enamel on aluminum
- 52 x 36 in. 132.1 x 91.4 cm.
Luhring Augustine, New York
Collection of Howard and Donna Stone, sold to Benefit the Art Institute of Chicago
Sotheby's, New York, November 9, 2004, lot 2
Acquired by the present owner from the above
Christopher Wool belongs to a generation of artists who explored new possibilities in painting by addressing the contradictions and interrelationships between abstraction and figuration. Wool critically questioned the traditional implications of gestural brushstroke, hierarchical composition and expressive colors to evoke an individual and personal quality in his work. The present work, Fuckem, from 1992 is part of Wool's stenciled word series - one of the artist's most recognized series.
Wool's word paintings began with four letter paintings in the late 1980's that evolved into 9 letter paintings and finally into short carefully chosen phrases such as "Fuckem if they can't take a joke''. Influenced by the works of Vito Acconci, Bruce Nauman and Jean-Michel Basquiat, Wool's use of text as image creates both a visual and verbal communication. The composition is minimalist: the individual letters have been reduced to linear patterns and imagery. Each letter is aligned with those above and below. Block letters, parallel lines, and a black and white color palette generate an exceedingly frontal composition in this crisp and abstract series. The closeness of the letters and the irregular breaks between words force the viewer to read the text out loud to decipher the expressions. The phrase exists in three realms: it is written, read, and spoken. Fuckem, is an excellent example of the confrontational and internalized violence of Wool's word paintings.