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PRINT September 1991

PATTERNS OF INTENT: CHRISTOPHER WOOL

CHRISTOPHER WOOL IS A painter by default and by defiance: painting is his medium but not his message. Wool chooses to paint almost in spite of painting’s limitations, and his works gain some of their power from the original perversity of that choice. His painterly activities do not stem from a need to justify a tradition of painting, nor are they an attempt to address a historical set of questions within painting’s critical discourse, as though that in itself could guarantee his meaning. Like other artists of his generation, his influences range from film and television to literature and other discursive systems—advertising, politics, sports, news, music, etc.—all mediated through language and photography. Wool accepts that he is, and that his paintings are, at any moment, within what Richard Prince calls “wild history,” subject to the intertextual meeting of various discourses.

If Wool’s

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