Josh Smith & Christopher Wool: Can Your Monkey do the Dog by Josh Smith
This book is the result of a collaboration between the artists Christopher Wool and Josh Smith. Their method is reminiscent of musical improvisation: to start, one of them proposes an image from his own body of work. From this basic picture, the other generates another image by reworking it through digital programs like Photoshop. Thus, new images made with “four hands” are created. The book is simply designed, with no texts, just black-and-white abstraction after abstraction. Here, the reproduction of the art image is just as important as the work of art. In other words, one can see pixels, blurred brushstrokes, the glare of a flashbulb reflecting off oil paint or a smudged Xerox effect. It’s all part of the workrather than highlighting the process of painting, the artists are highlighting the process of reproduction itself.
Christopher Wool was born and brought up in Chicago. In the early 1970s he moved to New York, where he studied painting intermittently and worked as an assistant to the artist Joel Shapiro. His first show was at the Cable Gallery, New York, in 1984. Since then he has exhibited internationally, including the 1989 Whitney Biennial, Documenta9, Birth of the Cool, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, Kunsthalle Basel and the Secession Gallery in Vienna.