At the heart of Wolfe’s practice are iconic twentieth century works of literature, music, and visual art which inspired him and became the subject of his practice. Remembering Steve is comprised of sculptures and works on paper from the mid 1980s onwards; spanning the course of three decades.
Working in the tradition of trompe l’oeil, Wolfe re-creates worn books and used records, primarily from the 1960s and 1970s, that influenced his personal and artistic sensibilities. He sought to represent his subjects with complete accuracy, rendering every detail of the original object which bore the signs of age and use. Using lithography, silkscreen, drawing, and other labor intensive processes, he was exhaustive and exacting in his method, with some pieces taking several years to complete. From his earliest mature work and throughout his career, his art explored the intersections between material culture, intellectual history, and personal and collective memory. The resonance of his oeuvre is now even more profound as the beloved books and records he so faithfully reproduced are rapidly being replaced by digital surrogates.