New York

Christopher Wool

Luhring Augustine | Chelsea

In the pursuit of annihilating imagery, Christopher Wool’s new paintings present a richly inarticulate pictorialism on the verge of collapsing into nonobjectivity. He lays siege to the rudiments of his own painting language to embark on a fitful construction process that not only allows for mistakes and false clues but actively exploits them. Wool offers us access to a world where things are layered to the point of implosion, where iconographic elements are built up only to virtually fall apart. These recent paintings are also his most emphatically “painterly” to date: the more Wool endeavors to blot out, with enamel-laden brush, the mechanical still-life imagery (a silk screen of potted flowers) that is repeated in a number of works, the more complex things get. It’s as if he’s attempting to frustrate recognition—to underline the banality of that moment.

While the new paintings inevitably

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