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Basic Data

Christopher Wool is a contemporary graphic artist and painter from the USA. Wool's artworks and edition are characterized by white-primed aluminum panels on which he paints word fragments or sentences in contrasting black color, lets them converge without punctuation, or unusually separates them.

  • Born: 1955
  • Place of birth: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  • Nationality: American
  • Studied at: Sarah Lawrence College, New York Studio School
  • Era: Contemporary art


Christopher Wool was born in Boston in 1955 and grew up in Chicago. He moved to New York in the 1980s, studied briefly at the New York Studio School and at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville. He also joined an artist group in SoHo led by Haim Steinback, Robert Gober and Jeff Koons.

His "word paintings" brought Wool to the attention of the first museums and galleries in the 1980s. These works are fragmentary words or entire quotations that he painted or sprayed in black and applied to contrasting white-primed aluminum panels. In doing so, he made use of the spray and stencil techniques of graffiti artists. Later, screen printing and paint rollers were added.

The painter has always been interested in the expressive values and tensions of surfaces and lines. Thus, the core element of Christopher Wool's work is the painting process itself, which he has explored since his early years, reducing form and color, experimenting with different painting techniques and reproduction techniques. His works often resonate with a poetic and enigmatic quality.

In 1992, Wool received a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in Berlin. In the same year, the U.S. artist participated in documenta IX in Kassel and in 1989 in the Whitney Biennial. This was followed by a number of solo and group exhibitions in renowned art museums such as the Solomon R. Guggenheim in New York and the Art Institute of Chicago. In 2009, the contemporary artist received the Wolfgang Hahn Prize of the City of Cologne and in 2018 designed a complete issue of the newspaper "Die Welt".

Currently, the artist lives and works in New York and is in a relationship with the painter Charline von Heyl. Today he is considered one of the most influential painters of contemporary abstraction. Since about 2005, the artist has also been working with digital imaging techniques.



  • 18.11.2023 – 17.03.2024 The Milton and Sheila Fine Collection – Carnegie Museum of Art (CMOA), Pittsburg.
  • 29.04.2023 – 05.11.2023 The Inner Island – Fondation Charmignac, Hyères.
  • 03.09.2022 – 01.01.2023 Michel Majerus – Katze - Museum Ludwig Köln, Cologne.
  • 17.07.2022 – 27.08.2023 IMMER FESTE DRUFF – Haus Mödrath – Räume für Kunst, Kerpen.
  • 02.06.2022 – 30.07.2022 Christopher Wool - Xavier Hufkens, Brussels.
  • 22.06.21 - 31.10.21 THE GREEK GIFT - Deste Foundation, Nea Ionia.
  • 18.06.21 - 18.04.22 Enjoy - The mumok Collection in Change – Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig (MUMOK), Vienna.
  • 02.10.20 - 21.02.21 Freischwimmer: Fotografie der Sammlung Viehof und des Museum Kurhaus Kleve – Museum Kurhaus Kleve.
  • 12.09.20 - 24.01.21 Technology Transformation: Fotografie und Video in der Kunstsammlung , K20. Düsseldorf.
  • 11.03.20 -  ∞ Christopher Wool – Galerie Max Hetzler, London.
  • 26.06.19 - 22.09.19 Less Is a Bore: Maximalist Art & Design - Institute of Contemporary Art Boston (ICA).
  • 25.05.19 - 04.08.19 Abstraction: Aspects of Contemporary Art - National Museum of Art, Osaka.
  • 14.09.18 - 27.10.18 TRUE STORIES. A SHOW RELATED TO AN ERA - THE EIGHTIES - Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin.



  • 2009: Wolfgang-Hahn-Prize Cologne.



  • Swamp / Christopher Wool, Holzwarth Publications GmbH, Berlin 2019.
  • Yard / Christopher Wool, Holzwarth Publications GmbH, Berlin 2018.
  • Christopher Wool, Hans Werner Holzwarth (Publ.), Cologne 2012.