His painting spells TRBL

Exploring Christopher Wool's meanings and messages in a comprehensive monograph

In-your-face, achingly simple, deceptively frank, the work of Christopher Wool is so very New York. Though he owes a debt to abstract expressionism and pop art, he completely transcends—even demolishes—these genres. Whether it’s a text-based painting or an abstract spray-painted piece, his work is immediately engaging. Wool questions painting, like many other artists in his generation, but he doesn’t provide any easy answers. “The harder you look the harder you look,” he puts it in one of his word paintings, and that is an excellent example of how he states the obvious whilst provoking us to think deeper about what seems obvious.

Christopher Wool became known in the mid-1980s through allover paintings produced with rubber rollers commonly used to simulate decorative wallpaper patterns on walls. By 1988 he had hit stride with his dry, dead-pan word paintings (“Trbl,” “Riot,” “Sell the House, Sell the Car, Sell the Kids”), while continuing to explore the possibilities of pattern painting. Since the 1990s, he has incorporated a widening variety of media in his work, including photography, silkscreen, and, in the new millennium, also the computer.

In over 400 pages, all of Wool’s work phases are covered in large-scale reproductions, accompanied by production Polaroids and installation photos by Wool himself. Essays and analyses by Glenn O’Brien, Jim Lewis, Ann Goldstein, Anne Pontégnie, Richard Hell, and Eric Banks make this book a great read as well as a definitive study of the artist’s oeuvre so far.

This is the unlimited trade edition
Texts by:
Eric Banks, former senior editor of Artforum, is a writer based in New York. 

Ann Goldstein is Director of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, and formerly was Senior Curator at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

Richard Hell, writer and musician, is the author of the novels Go Now and Godlike and the collection Hot and Cold. His memoir, called I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp, will be published in 2013.

Jim Lewis is the author of three novels—most recently, The King Is Dead—and numerous essays on the visual arts.

Glenn O’Brien is a writer who lives in New York. He is the author of How to Be a Man, Human Nature (dub version), and Soap Box.

Anne Pontégnie is an independent curator and art writer working from Brussels.

The editor:
Hans Werner Holzwarth is a book designer and editor based in Berlin, with numerous publications mainly on contemporary art and photography. For TASCHEN he has edited, among other titles, Jeff Koons, Christopher Wool, Albert Oehlen, Neo Rauch and Ai Weiwei.
Christopher Wool (Jumbo)

Christopher Wool

Hans Werner Holzwarth
Hardcover, 9.8 x 13.1 in., 424 pages
$ 69.99

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  • Reviews
"Here, images, essays and analyses add up to a definitive study."
— The American, London, United Kingdom
  • See also
Christopher Wool, Art Edition (Collector's Edition)
Few left Christopher Wool, Art Edition
Hardcover in clamshell box with print in portfolio, 13.0 x 17.3 in., 426 pages
$ 5,000
Christopher Wool (Collector's Edition)
Christopher Wool
Hardcover in clamshell box, 13.0 x 17.3 in., 426 pages
$ 1,500