Christopher Wool

Luhring Augustine | Chelsea

Christopher Wool’s painting is synonymous with major attitude, so much so that his new “FUCKEM IF THEY CAN’T TAKE A JOKE” paintings seem immediately and perhaps overly familiar. Indeed, talk on the street has been along the lines of “enough already, we’ve heard it too many times”—a reaction his stiffly stenciled, vehement retorts seem eagerly to have anticipated. While the rancorous flippancy remains darkly adversarial, and the bent of the black-and-white-lettered text is still provocatively industrial and illiterate, the voice has gotten a lot louder and much more combative. Whether or not it’s the painting that’s doing the talking, or Wool himself, the suggestion of simmering violence in the texts of earlier works—“TRBL,” “AMOK,” “TERRORIST,” “RIOT,” and “HELTER SKELTER”—is now absolutely overt. What was once internalized and passively discursive is now an actively abusive and goading

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