To recover from a day of workshops at the Creative Chicago Expo this past weekend, I popped into the Art Institute to see the Christopher Wool retrospective. I wasn’t familiar at all with Wool’s work and wasn’t aware of his Chicago roots before seeing the exhibition. There was a large number of various works in the exhibitions, from photographs to paintings to screenprints of those same paintings, but I was most drawn to his enamel wordplay works, which, now that I’m reading up on him online, seems to be the work he is most well known for.
I liked reading up on the literary origins of the pieces, the piece of the left, for example, contains text from “The Apocalypse of Our Time” by the philosopher Vasily Rozanov. The middle piece is called Apocalypse Now, and the text is a line from Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. The piece on the right has it’s origins in an aphorism by Karl Kraus. I love the power in the simplicity and boldness of these pieces, as well as the initial confusion because of the placement of the letters. While those are just some of the pieces that stood out to me, the show is very large and contains quite a variety of work, it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re in the area.