As I said I went to NYC this past week- my intention was to go see the Mike Kelley exhibit at PS1 and I was very frustrated and disappointed to find that they are closed Tuesday and Wednesday (the days I was there.) But I did not let it get me down and decided to trek to a few museums that when I lived there I rarely trekked to. First, the Guggenheim and the Christopher Wool exhibit. I had decided to go there as Roberta Smith and Jerry Saltz had both given the exhibition rave reviews so I figured it has to be a good show.
I walked in and felt pretty unsure- at first look not really my kind of thing; Painting/Prints, large, a combo of pop and abstract expressionism and non narrative work. But... I loved the exhibit. It was inspiring and motivating to see that a show almost entirely of just black and white can hold down a space like the Guggenheim. As I myself move away from color and am more interested in the subtly that exists in monochromatic works I felt excited and validated that Wool's work rarely left the black and white palate.
I also was very attracted to his prints that used "Wallpaper" pattern rollers to create fields of decorative marks, however he embraced and emphasized the tools flaws by over inking and allowing smears and smudges to organically occur, interrupting the decorative.
My favorite works were when he did an aggressive mark on top of the decorative and careful. The contrast of the repetitive decorative and the feminine patterns with the large and aggressive painterly marks were surprisingly powerful and evocative.
and of course I enjoyed the text work too.
I did not leave this show finding a new favorite artist but I was opened up to an artist that I did not know and left with a notebook of thoughts and observations. The work looks incredible within the space of the Guggenheim and is a wonderfully unique body of work.
Go see it if you can. Read more about it here and read Smith's review here.