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Focus On: Jonas Wood

Miami— August 1, 2021— Jonas Wood (American, b. 1977) is a Boston-born and Los Angeles-based American artist who weaves the essence of 20th century modern traditions with his own hard edged, quasi-abstract cutout style. His work presents autobiographical references and explores aspects of contemporary American life by crossing multiple figurative genres that include portrait, still life, landscape, and architecture.

Connected to a long tradition in art history of scenes from everyday life, still life paintings have emerged as a distinct genre through Wood’s work. The artist paints interiors, potted plants and vessels, fish tanks, and more. They are presented in a flat, graphic style partially inspired by the work of Japan-born ceramist Shio Kusaka, his studio partner and wife. Wood appropriates Shio’s vessels’ aesthetics, color, shape, and form and incorporates them into his paintings.

Wood’s media ranges from drawing, painting, collages, watercolors and murals. His keen ability to reference modernist classics have certainly gained him critics’ attention. According to The New Yorker, Wood’s work “connects the dots from Henri Matisse to Stuart Davis to David Hockney in ostensibly figurative scenes of interiors (…) that play optical games with abstraction.” He explores with form and style with radical space manipulation and fractured planes, while simultaneously delving into highly conceptual ideas by reinvigorating an interest in the everyday things that we overlook.

Wood’s painting is at an important moment in contemporary art. According to Sotheby’s Mei Moses, the average annual compound return for Jonas Wood is 41.1%, with 100% of works increasing in value (2019). More recently, in May 2021, Wood’s work broke a new auction record when his Two Tables with Floral Pattern (2013) surpassed its $2-4 million estimate and sold for $6.5million during Christie’s live-streamed 21st Century Evening Sale.

Wood’s work is featured in major collections such as New York’s Museum of Modern Art, Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and has consistently participated in exhibitions at important institutions such as the Hammer Museum, University of California, Los Angeles; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas; Museum of Contemporary Art; Los Angeles and de la Cruz Collection, Miami.


Photo: Portrait of Jonas Wood by Steven Taylor