Whilst Christopher Wool is best known for his paintings of large, black, stenciled letters on white canvases, his body of work possesses a wide range of styles; using a combined array of painterly techniques, including spray painting, hand painting, and screen-printing, he provides tension between painting and erasing, gesture and removal, depth and flatness. By painting layer upon layer of whites and off-whites over screen-printed elements used in previous works—monochrome forms taken from reproductions, enlargements of details of photographs, screens, and Polaroids of his own paintings— Wool accretes the surface of his pressurized paintings while apparently voiding their very substance. Only ghosts and impediments to the field of vision remain, each fixed in its individual temporality.
Through these various procedures of application and cancellation, Wool obscures the liminal traces of previous elements, putting reproduction and negation to generative use in forming a new chapter in contemporary painting. His paintings can therefore be defined as much by what they are not and what they hold back as what they are.