Treachery of Images

Christopher Wool Untitled 2011

“. . . the fact that you can make a picture without trying to make a picture seemed very liberating. I guess it’s a picture-making strategy for an abstract painter. To rely on process is to make a painting without relying on the usual formal considerations that were supposed to define a successful painting.Christopher Wool in Conversation With Katy Siegel, Spring 2017.

The Abstract Mannerists – nearly all of them – rely heavily on what might be seen as an hyper-activated Surrealism. In Christopher Wool’s Untitled from 2011 we are looking at a reproduction of a paint spot which is acting like a painting while not actually being “painted” – in other words – a perfect simulacrum.

…the entire system is fluctuating in indeterminacy, all of reality absorbed by the hyperreality of the code and of simulation. It is now a principle of simulation, and not of reality, that regulates social life. The finalities have disappeared; we are now engendered by models. There is no longer such a thing as ideology; there are only simulacra. Jean Baudrilliard, Symbolic Exchange and Death, 1976.

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