Rug #3 2017 Hand-knotted silk made in Nepal Edition of 30 + 5 artist's proofs 108 x 96 inches
Christopher Wool is among the most important artists of our time and it has been a great pleasure to have helped him make three carpets over the years. While Christopher Wool had a clear sense of what he wished to accomplish, his vision and control went hand in hand with a humble inquisitiveness about a process that was new to him. Wool seems to have an almost boyish wonder and curiosity at the physical, spiritual and intellectual world. Uncomfortable with resting on his laurels, Wool was constantly experimenting and refining the image and asking “what if” questions. He is most comfortable removing himself to the tall weeds of where actual bona-fide discovery and creativity occurs-- he continues to be a seeker of what his own work is and means.
That the actual physical creation of his rug takes place in the Himalayas thousands of miles away from his studio in the East Village is a condition he’s well suited to—it’s in Wool’s DNA as an artist and a thinker to be both in control and to know how and when to trust the properties and characteristics that are beyond reach and integral to the process. Wool embraces the digital age and draws from sources both conventional, ancient and artisanal. He understands that technology, biology and language, signs and symbols flow from the same Jungian source. His rugs are referential and, atmospheric and cosmic but in a way that is honest and doesn’t hide the processes that created the artistic deception.
Rug No. 3 is based on re-appropriations of an early group of works on paper made in 1986, the so-called Rorschach series referring to Swiss psychoanalyst Hermann Rorschach. Scanned and enlarged by Wool, working closely with our Editions Director, Carolina Mandia, Wool used them to create the graph for Rug 3. Wool constantly takes up on his own tracks and strategies, redefining them in sequences of forward and backward motion. Thus, on the one hand he comments on his own work and on the other hand manages to keep the discourse within his own work alive, relevant.
BravinLee editions is a proud member of GoodWeave. GoodWeave’s founder Kailash Satyarthi was recently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in honor of his career dedicated to ending the exploitation of children around the world. GoodWeave, an international nonprofit organization geared toward abolishing child labor in the carpet industry, has liberated and educated thousands of children, bringing them from carpet looms to classrooms. Satyarthi and GoodWeave work to guide consumers to its Child Labor Free Certified rugs and replicate their market-based approach of certification in other sectors. Kailash said at the ceremony, “I refuse to accept that the shackles of slavery can ever be stronger than the quest for freedom.” He asked those in attendance to place their hands over their hearts and “listen to the child inside.”
Christopher Wool (born 1955) has emerged as one of the most important abstract painters of his generation and one of the most highly esteemed artists in the world. Wool rose to prominence with his experimentations in painting in New York in the 1980s, a time and place where the medium was largely seen as irrelevant to avant-garde practice. Since then the artist has used a variety of means—spray, screens, stencils, rags, solvents, air guns, and other tools—to fully re-imagine the possibilities of gestural mark-making on a surface. He also often now uses photographs of his own paintings as sources for new paintings, taking images of particular passages or gestures—best understood as outtakes or samples—and then transmitting them onto aluminum or linen grounds anew through silkscreen, either alone on a surface or in combination with enamel. And even though the majority of his works are black and white, color also makes rare appearances.
Christopher Wool is represented by Luring Augustine. His work has been exhibited extensively around the world in many solo and group exhibitions. Solo shows include the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California (1989); Museum Boymans–van Beuningen, The Netherlands (1991, traveled to Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland; and Kölnischer Kunstverein, Germany); Eli Broad Family Foundation, Los Angeles (1992); Ophiuchus Collection, The Hydra Workshop, Greece (1998); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1998, traveled to Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; and Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland); Centre d’Art Contemporain Geneve, Switzerland (1999); Le Consortium, France (2002, traveled to Dundee Contemporary Arts, Scotland, through 2003); Camden Arts Centre, London (2004); Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno, Spain (2006); ETH (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology), Zurich (2006); Museum de Arte Contemporanea de Serralves, Portugal (2008, traveled to Museum Ludwig, Germany); Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France (2012); and The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2013, traveled to The Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois).