b. 1993, USA

Issy Wood Biography

London-based artist Issy Wood is recognised for her figurative paintings. Featuring a range of subjects from portraits of celebrities to historical and contemporary consumer goods, Wood's oil paintings explore our relationship to commodities and our conceptions of value.

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Early Years

Wood studied in London, receiving her BA in Fine Art & History of Art from Goldsmiths, University of London, in 2015 and graduating from the Royal Academy of Arts in 2018.

Issy Wood Artworks

Issy Wood has described her paintings as having a 'mediaeval millennial' style, referring to her combination of contemporary objects with colour palettes and subject matter evocative of classical painting, while also expanding her practice to include sculptural works. The artist often draws imagery from her surroundings, both online and offline, incorporating material from auction catalogues and snapshots.

Commodities

Recurring subjects in Wood's paintings include commodities traditionally associated with femininity, commonplace objects and devices, car interiors, and ornate silverware, as well as close-ups or cropped images of clothing items. Portraits of women, notably the actress and comedian Joan Rivers, and feminine bodies also abound in her paintings, drawing connections between notions of beauty and consumerism, and the fashionable and obsolete.

All the Rage

Wood's paintings have been compared to Surrealist works for their enigmatic compositions that evade a clear narrative. A hairbrush stands upright on the floor in All the Rage 1 (2019), which depicts an ambiguous scene that recedes into cold greys and blue, with cloud-like forms floating near the ground. To the left of the hairbrush is a pair of hands holding a gun emerging from between cowboy boots.

The scene perhaps continues in All the Rage 2 (2019), in which a feminine torso dressed in white appears to be falling—perhaps from the bullet—while a gigantic woman's hand reaches for a shoe with a dog-shaped heel. In the bottom-right corner, a miniature woman is seen lying on the ground with little explanation as to her relationship to the other bodies in the painting.

All the Rage is also the title of Wood's 2019 solo exhibition at the Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art, London that included, in addition to the eponymous paintings, installations of clothing items with her paintings on them.

Music

A musician, Wood signed with star producer Mark Ronson's Zelig Records in 2019, subsequently releasing a single, titled 'Debt'. She has released the EPs Cries Real Tears! (2020) and If It's Any Constellation (2021) and collaborated with balloon artist David Crofts for her music video Fuss (2021).

Exhibitions

Issy Wood's work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions internationally.

Select solo exhibitions include Trilemma, Carlos/Ishikawa, London (2021); Good Clean Fun, X Museum, Beijing (2020); All the Rage, Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art, London (2019); I came as soon as I heard (with Margaret Wharton), JTT, New York (2019); Rosetta Stone, Triumph, Moscow (2015).

Select group exhibitions include Artists Inspired by Music: Interscope Reimagined, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2022); Mixing it Up: Painting Today, Hayward Gallery, London (2021); Breaking Through Skin, Antenna Space, Shanghai (2020); Artists I Steal From, Thaddeus Ropac, London (2019); Paint Also Known as Blood, Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw (2019); Nightfall, Mendes Wood DM, Brussels (2018); Dreamers Awake, White Cube, London (2017); Chatsubo, Kraupa Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin (2016); mini-cooperation, PLAZAPLAZA, London (2014).

Instagram

Issy Wood's Instagram can be found here.

Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2022

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