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Christopher Wool, Untitled, 1990–91

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Christopher Wool, Untitled, 1990–91

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Narrator: Curator Elisabeth Sussman on Wool’s stenciled letters.

Elisabeth Sussman: On the one hand, they are shapes of graphic interest to the artist. Breaking it up makes the thingness of it more apparent, because it's hard to read and it means you have to look at the letters really hard. You can't assimilate this quickly.

It's very beautiful. The letters themselves just have beautiful forms and powers. By the way, it's painted in a kind of interesting navy blue color, so it's not exactly like you would expect a sign to be.

But I think if the question is what does it mean to paint it? A text like this? I mean, all of the above, that you enjoy it graphically and you like all of that. But that ultimately, you can get the power of an experience without anything figurative other than a text. I think that must have been the reason to paint it, to project such a powerful idea with words only is quite a feat.

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