Christopher Wool

Postconceptualist painter whose influence can increasingly be seen on a younger generation of artists

When bond managers cite your text paintings on the TV news (that’ll be Jeffrey Gundlach, the chief executive of DoubleLine Capital, quoting Wool’s line in the 1988 work Apocalypse Now, ‘Sell the house, sell the car, sell the kids’, in reference to Deutsche Bank shares), you know that your practice has a certain cultural, and dare we say economic, standing. Those working in the very top end of financial services might be the types to own one of Wool’s works after all: Apocalypse Now sparked column inches in 2013 when it sold for $26.4m at auction. More to the point, though, Wool as a painter represents a progression from the medium’s obsessions with formalism (though don’t think for a moment his deceptively simple compositions aren’t heavily worked) into conceptualism: his distinctly painterly investigations of the relationship between language and image reverberate, not least in the work of big shots such as Josh Smith and Wade Guyton from a generation below.