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Christopher Wool

Unpacking: The Marciano Collection (group show)
The Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles
25 May - 24 December 2017

The inaugural exhibition of The Maurice and Paul Marciano Art Foundation draws from the Foundation’s collection of over 1,500 artworks, bringing together an international, multigenerational roster of artists who are among contemporary art’s leading creative and critical voices. With the rise of Los Angeles as one of the twenty-first-century’s global centers for artistic practice, the Marciano Art Foundation has a vision to transform the former Scottish Rite Masonic Temple into a forum dedicated to this thriving community.

Conceived and organized by guest curator Philipp Kaiser, UNPACKING takes its title from German philosopher Walter Benjamin’s 1931 essay, “Unpacking My Library: A Talk about Book Collecting.” Benjamin’s text emphasizes that any order is a balancing act of extreme precariousness. UNPACKING showcases the breadth and depth of the collection while simultaneously creating a loose order where a multitude of meanings collide with a historic site, exposing unpredictable connections. Two underlying thematic threads lead the viewer through the walls of the temple: one focusing on works that emphasize the process of their creation and another to the artists’ archaeological impulses. The abundance of process-based works connects the artists in the collection to an artistic legacy that characterized much of the art of the late 1960s, while the archaeological impetuses point to a prevailing tendency by artists to operate in an investigative mode, mining complex ideas of the artwork’s site and temporality.

The Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles


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Christopher Wool

First Impressions: Prints from the Anderson Collection (group show)
de Young Museum, San Francisco
2 June - 8 December 2018

Our culture is full of discussions around managing the ever-important “first impression”—that first encounter with a new person, place, thing, or idea, when opinions are often hastily formed. It can be difficult to escape the grip of a “first.” However, artworks can provide artists, viewers, and collectors with multiple opportunities for first impressions—an expression particularly apt in printmaking, since every sheet bearing a printed image is called an impression. This exhibition casts a wide net across the concept of the “first impression” to present a selection of highlights from the museum’s Anderson Graphic Arts Collection.

Among the first impressions on view are examples of artists’ first projects at a print workshop, their debut of a motif or technique, and their initial works within a series. Viewing artwork likewise provides occasions for firsts. There is the first time a viewer encounters a work of art, which is also perhaps their earliest exposure to the artist or to a specific context that reveals content, form, and technique in a new way. First Impressions includes recent additions to the Anderson Collection by Louise Nevelson and Christopher Wool and marks the debut of these prints at the de Young.

And there are firsts for the collector. An inaugural purchase within a previously unexplored area of art may send him or her off in new directions, as did Mary Margaret “Moo” Anderson’s first encounter in 1968 with Richard Diebenkorn’s 41 Etchings Drypoints, itself the artist’s first publication with the then-fledgling Crown Point Press. The suite of prints—which Moo and her husband, “Hunk” (Harry, who died in February), count as their earliest acquisition within the realm of contemporary art—inspired in them a lifelong commitment to collecting contemporary American prints.

de Young Museum, San Francisco