Christopher Wool (B.1955) - Black Book
Complete set of 17 prints on smooth wove paper, signed and numbered 247 of 350, published by Thea Westreich Associates, New York, 1989. £30,000.
The instantly recognizable stencil lettering of Christopher Wool is at once serious and flippant. This complete bound book of seventeen screenprints presents a sociological cross-section, as Wool reduces consecutive words like “TERRORIST” and “HYPNOTIST” to raw, unbridled text in a subversive act of authoritarian determination. Wool’s verbal fractures produce witty and at times suggestive juxtapositions, challenging the implications of language while tempting the viewer to disregard meaning in favor of graphic concerns. These images were originally inspired by New York graffiti, gaining political gravity through the employment of a military font in the context of the Vietnam War.