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b. 1977, USA

Jonas Wood Biography

Boston-born and Los Angeles-based artist Jonas Wood weaves the essence of 20th-century modern traditions with his own hard-edged, quasi-abstract cut-out style in order to autobiographically explore aspects of contemporary American life. The artist's work, restricted to two-dimensional media (drawing, painting, collage, watercolour, and mural), crosses multiple genres including portrait, still life, landscape, and architecture. He features in the collections of key American art institutions such as New York's Museum of Modern Art, Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, and Whitney Museum of American Art; Los Angeles' Hammer Museum and Museum of Contemporary Art; and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

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Wood's process typically begins with a collage of photographs that he simplifies into drawn compositions. Space and depth in the artist's artworks are created purely with flat planes of colour and lines. The resulting disconcerting sense of compressed space harks back to the work of the 20th-century modernists he cites as influences; in particular, there is a strong connection to the work of Henri Matisse, who forsook shading as a means of conveying form in favour of lines and contrasting fields of colour. The artist specifically pays homage to Matisse in works such as Red Pot with Lute Player #2 (2018), reminiscent of Matisse's Interior in Venetian Red (1946) and Red Interior. Still Life on a Blue Table (1947). The disparate and fractured plains of Wood's work meanwhile resonate with Pablo Picasso and the Cubists. His minimal, colourful, and planar portraits and interiors visually reflect the work of his proclaimed major influences: Lucian Freud, David Hockney, and Alex Katz.

In a conceptual sense, Wood follows early Pop art's focus on reinvigorating an interest in the everyday things that we overlook, though his approach is less commercial and more personal than Pop art's. The artist's imagery is comprised of his day-to-day surroundings. In works such as Group Portrait (2004) and MSF Fish Pot #7 (2016) the artist has incorporated the work and interests of his wife, the Japan-born ceramicist Shio Kusaka. Sharing a studio with her in Culver City, California, many of the artist's myriad paintings of plant pots and other ceramic vessels are modelled on Kusaka's work. The artist also creates interior scenes characterised by distorted perspectives and an abundance of domestic objects, particularly pot plants, in works such as Alexis' Room (2014), and Jersey City Apartment (2019).

Sports has been another dominant feature of Wood's work. The artist shows his obsessive passion for basketball in works such as Floating Orange Ball (2014), which also pays homage to Jeff Koons' One Ball Total Equilibrium (Spalding Dr J Silver Series) (1985). The artist avidly watches games and listens to sports commentary, or has it running in the background while he works. The artist also produces architectural exteriors such as Schindler Apts (2013), which portrays the iconic Los Angeles architecture the artist visits with his father when he comes to the city. Sometimes these everyday elements are jarringly recombined into works such as Collaboration Appropriation 4 (2015), which brings together the artist's plants and basketball motifs in a surreal composition set against a neutral background.

Michael Irwin | Ocula | 2019

Jonas Wood Featured Artworks

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NYTimes Frimkess Still Life by Jonas Wood contemporary artwork
Jonas WoodNYTimes Frimkess Still Life, 2018Oil and acrylic on linen
50.8 x 50.8 x 3.8 cm
David Kordansky Gallery Enquire about this work
Jersey City Apartment by Jonas Wood contemporary artwork
Jonas WoodJersey City Apartment, 2019Oil and acrylic on canvas
264.2 x 360.7 cm
Gagosian Enquire about this work
Still Life with Wood Panels by Jonas Wood contemporary artwork
Jonas WoodStill Life with Wood Panels, 2018Oil and acrylic on canvas
208.3 x 208.3 cm
Gagosian Enquire about this work
M.S.F. Fish Pot #7 by Jonas Wood contemporary artwork
Jonas WoodM.S.F. Fish Pot #7, 2016Oil and acrylic on canvas
182.9 x 182.9 cm
Gagosian Enquire about this work
Red Pot with Lute Player #2 by Jonas Wood contemporary artwork
Jonas WoodRed Pot with Lute Player #2, 2018Oil and acrylic on canvas
218.4 x 228.6 cm
Gagosian Enquire about this work
Still Life with Animal Pattern by Jonas Wood contemporary artwork
Jonas WoodStill Life with Animal Pattern, 2011Ink and graphite on paper
41 x 28 inches
David Kordansky Gallery Enquire about this work
Pete Ladd by Jonas Wood contemporary artwork
Jonas WoodPete Ladd, 2006Gouache and coloured pencil on paper
14 x 11 1/2 inches
David Kordansky Gallery Enquire about this work
Ewing's Card by Jonas Wood contemporary artwork
Jonas WoodEwing's Card, 2007Oil on linen
48 x 36 x 1.5 inches
David Kordansky Gallery Enquire about this work

Jonas Wood Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Jonas Wood, Jonas Wood at Gagosian, New York
Closed
24 April–19 July 2019 Jonas Wood GagosianWest 24th Street, New York

Jonas Wood Represented By

Gagosian contemporary art gallery in 980 Madison Avenue, New York, USA Gagosian New York, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, London, Paris, Le Bourget, Geneva, Basel, Rome, Athens, Hong Kong

Jonas Wood In Ocula Magazine

Matthew Shieh: A Family Collection Ocula Conversation
Taipei Connections: Collector Focus
Matthew Shieh: A Family Collection By Stephanie Bailey, Taipei

Matthew Shieh introduces his family collection and its development within the context of Taiwan's arts landscape, where a rich collecting culture is bolstered by global initiatives such as Taipei Connections, an online platform launched by Taipei Dangdai with Ocula (2–5 May 2020).

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Jonas Wood In Related Press

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JONAS WOOD: MURAL Related Press JONAS WOOD: MURAL 15 November 2019, Gagosian Quarterly

For MOCA's facade, Wood proposed a version of his Still Life with Two Owls (2014), a complex canvas first exhibited in 2015 at Gagosian Hong Kong in a joint show with the Japanese-born ceramic artist Shio Kusaka, whom Wood is married to and whose pots appear in the painting. (The two have another joint show at the Voorlinden Museum in the...

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An Artist on Finding Balance, and His Giant Basketball Sculpture Related Press An Artist on Finding Balance, and His Giant Basketball Sculpture 22 March 2019, The New York Times

Jonas Wood's East Hollywood studio — a refurbished industrial space hidden behind a razor-wired metal gate — is populated with the familiar objects that appear in his paintings. There are colonies of potted plants and basketball paraphernalia that ranges in size from plush couch cushions to man-sized orbs. Every room is filled with...

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JONAS WOOD FACETIMED US TO TALK EXOTIC COFFINS AND THE TIME HE ENDED UP ON LEBRON JAMES’S INSTAGRAM Related Press JONAS WOOD FACETIMED US TO TALK EXOTIC COFFINS AND THE TIME HE ENDED UP ON LEBRON JAMES’S INSTAGRAM 22 March 2019, Interview Magazine

A child painting their own face. Tropical plants. Basketballs. Milk crates. More basketballs. These are just some of the banal exotica that appear in the work of Jonas Wood. By now, you're just as likely to see the Los Angeles-based painter's work on Instagram as you are in a white-walled gallery, a major museum, on the shelf at Dover Street...

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ARTIST JONAS WOOD HAS BROAD APPEAL Related Press ARTIST JONAS WOOD HAS BROAD APPEAL 27 October 2017, Cultured

In the art world I thought I knew, no one would publicly admit to an interest in golf, least of all a young painter who was just making his name. But that is exactly what Jonas Wood did, a decade ago, when he made a painting of the golf course in Glendale where he was learning to play. Now, 10 years later, he is revisiting the subject in his...

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Jonas Wood In Video & Audio

An Inside Look at Jonas Wood’s Studio Related Video & Audio An Inside Look at Jonas Wood’s Studio 26 April 2019, Sotheby's

In this video, step into the studio of artist Jonas Wood as he reflects on his move to Los Angeles, the importance of the Hammer Museum and his unique approach to creating art. Jonas Wood and his wife, artist and studio mate Shio Kusaka, have donated their works Shio Butterfly Still Life and (Line 65) to be offered as highlights of Artists for the...

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