B. 1955 Christopher Wool grew up in Chicago. In 1972, he attended Sarah Lawrence College for one year before settling in Manhattan, where he enrolled in classes at the New York Studio School and briefly studied film at New York University. Wool’s work has always been closely tied to his urban surroundings, and as early as 1986, he began to create monochrome paintings that employed commercial tools and imagery appropriated from a variety of mass cultural sources. Since the early 1990s, Wool has relied heavily on the silkscreen process to transfer pre-existing images to a surface. His most recent works consist of spray painted lines and recurrent gestures of erasure as well as abstract forms that have been digitally manipulated in Photoshop. While Wool is primarily known as a painter, his photographs, artist books, and prints are also integral to his practice.
His work has been presented at institutions around the world, including solo exhibitions at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1989); Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne, and Kunsthalle Bern (1991); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1998), Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh (1998–99), and Kunsthalle Basel (1999); Institut Valencià d'Art Modern and Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain, Strasbourg (2006); Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves, Porto (2008–09), and Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2009); and Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (2012). In the fall of 2013, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum presented the artist’s first retrospective survey, which will travel to the Art Institute of Chicago in 2014.