Narrator: In the 1980s, Christopher Wool began making paintings out of text, making the letters and words the subject of the work.

Elisabeth Sussman: It's both graphically very strong, and at the same time, the texts themselves are powerful.  A signature of Christopher's work at this time is that he will break the words up, so that it takes you a while to read the text because the one word will carry over into two lines.

Narrator: Wool took this text from a book that rock critic Greil Marcus wrote about punk. Curator Elisabeth Sussman.

Elisabeth Sussman: The event that is described in the text is that there is an enclosed little space where people are somehow immersed in their lives, in the spectacle. And that at the end of the immersion, when the immersion is over, and they are forced to leave their little space and to go back into the so‑called world, there's no world there. Or there is no exit. It’s a very existentialist kind of idea.

Narrator: If you’d like to hear more about Wool’s text paintings, please tap your screen.


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