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Wool Beyond Words

see stop run christopher wool
If the point of Wool’s exhibition is to remind the public—not just his collectors—that his work is always evolving, then the mosaics may be a hint of what’s to come. Courtesy of Christopher Wood/Galerie Max Hetzler
Marion Maneker
June 2, 2024

All throughout the spring, and especially as the art tribes converged in New York for the May auctions and gallery shows, a steady stream of pilgrims made their way to an unremarkable office building in Lower Manhattan to view what was perhaps the most important show of the season: Christopher Wool’s See Stop Run

Wool, of course, is best known for his word paintings, those confusing sign-like images of giant letters stenciled on white backgrounds that test our perception of whatever art looks like. Originally inspired by the words “Sex” and “Luv” painted on a white delivery truck, Wool’s paintings evolved into a complex exploration of language, imagery, and composition. They also soared in value, commensurate with Wool’s fame; just after his 2013 Guggenheim retrospective, which drove demand to unsustainable levels, a 9-foot-tall Wool canvas with the word “riot” sold for nearly $30 million at auction.