Australian Open Two

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  • Provenance

    David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles
    Private Collection (acquired from the above)
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    As an outstanding proponent of his iconic and highly coveted tennis court paintings, Jonas Wood’s masterwork Australian Open Two substantiates the artist’s ultimate thesis on the psychological interplay between abstraction and representation. As a visionary who has redefined beauty in prosaic images, Wood yields a unique space that is both a highly personal and universally familiar. Through an expanse of enigmatically stacked tectonic planes that recede from marine blues to a wistful darkness, the artist first lays the abstract architecture of his engulfing canvas. Horizontal bands of colour then slowly unfold to reveal volume within their flatness, as delicate white lines demarcate the boundaries of a tennis court. Finally, representational space is anchored by the embellishments of corporate logos and the economic evocation of a taught tennis net constructed through methodical cross hatching. The images of these courts are based on Wood photographing the television screen, creating bands of black colours at the top and bottom of some works. Presented at an immersive scale that is rare to the market, Wood re-imagines a famed site of international sport that is known globally from infinite angles, cropping it haphazardly and emptying it of any action to present an abstracted splice of shared personal experience.

    Comprising his most recognisable series, Wood has been continuously drawn to the four international Grand Slam tennis tournaments that punctuate the global sporting calendar: the French Open, Wimbledon, the US Open, and the Australian Open. Here, Wood announces his location through a wash of oceanic blues: the distinguishing colour of the Australian Open courts since the surfaces of Melbourne Park were renovated in 2007. Yet, rather than focusing on the game itself, Wood’s vacant court functions as uncanny contemporary landscape emptied of human presence in the vein of David Hockney’s 1967 masterpiece, A Bigger Splash. The off-centre viewpoint emphasises the orthogonals of the stadium environment, supported by the aesthetic weight of saturated block colours. As the artist surmises: ‘My forms are not rendered spatially. My paintings of tennis courts were about an interest in abstraction, and how the court becomes a geometric puzzle’ (Jonas Wood in conversation with Jennifer Samet in: ‘Beer with a Painter, LA Edition: Jonas Wood’, Hyperallergic, 12 September 2015, online.)

    Rigorously structured to play with our perception of depth, Wood shows a profound indebtedness to Paul Cézanne’s deconstruction of pictorial space and the fracturing of forms that manifested in the Cubism of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. He modifies the visual strategies of modern painting to reflect a post-modern reality; one that is infiltrated by flatness of the screen and a saturated visual culture fed by digital technologies. With further references to the consumer brand worship of Andy Warhol and the graphic interest in corporate logos expounded by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Wood condenses the abstract, the representational, the photographic and televised. In the absence of players, referees or audience, this surreal tennis court becomes a geometric game, revelling in asymmetry, where form and colour provide the dynamic back and forth energy otherwise expressed in the heat of a match.

    Having initially studied psychology before focusing on fine art, Wood’s unique interweaving of aesthetics and memory have earned his quotidian scenes a revered place in the history of contemporary painting. The artist gained notoriety in his early career through personal images of friends, family and interiors all based on first hand perception and memories. Wood has remarked: 'Of all the possible things I could paint, the thing that interests me is something that I can get close enough to in order to paint it honestly.’ (Jonas Wood in conversation with Ana Vejzovic Sharp in: Dan Nadel, Ed., Jonas Wood: Interiors, Los Angeles 2012, p. 56.) As a crucial innovation in his practice, Wood’s sports images specifically relate to visions and memories mediated through other media such as photography or television. Wood’s first sport paintings used portraits of athletes that he sourced from the cards he collected as a child. Whilst familiar to some and surreal to others, the flattening effect of the blue court in Australian Open Two evokes space experienced as an image mediated through television. But despite presenting a scene rooted in a widely accessible record of reality, Wood’s askew framing of the composition remains both highly personal and coolly abstract.

  • Catalogue Essay


    伍德一直以國際網球四大滿貫賽事為主題:法國網球公開賽、溫布頓網球錦標賽、美國網球公開賽、澳洲網球公開賽,成為他最具代表性的作品系列。伍德在這幅作品中以一片海藍色表示所在地:自2007年墨爾本公園賽場翻新以來,這就是澳網公開賽場地的標誌性顏色。伍德的重點並不在比賽本身,空蕩蕩的賽場令人想起邈無人跡的當代藝術風景畫,與大衛·霍克尼的1967年名作《水花四濺》一脈相承。偏移的視角突出場館的十字交叉線,畫面因飽滿的色塊而顯得充實。藝術家設想:「我並非以空間呈現形態。我的網球場作品是出於對抽象的興趣,還有就是賽場如何成為一幅幾何拼圖」(喬納斯·伍德與珍妮弗·薩默對話,< 啤酒和一位藝術家 ,加州版本:喬納斯·伍德 >,《Hyperallergic》,2015年9月12日,網上資料)。


    伍德在專注藝術創作之前,本科修讀過心理學,他將各種藝術美學和個人記憶交織,使他所描繪的平凡場景在當代繪畫史上佔得一席位。伍德在早年憑著親身感覺和記憶,繪畫朋友家人和室內場景的影像,卻因此而聲名狼藉。他指出:「在各種各樣可以入畫的事物當中,我感興趣的是那些讓我可以近距離接觸,然後忠實地描繪的東西。」(喬納斯·伍德與安娜·維耶索韋·沙普對話,載於Dan Nadel編,《喬納斯·伍德:室內》,洛杉磯,2012年,第56頁)。運動主題作品是伍德在藝術事業上的重要轉折,與其他媒介如攝影或電視所傳遞的視覺體驗和記憶息息相關。伍德的第一批運動主題作品以他童年時收集的運動員肖像卡為藍本。《澳洲網球公開賽二》裡的藍色球場對於某些人來說非常熟悉,對另一些人來說卻是超現實,這種平面視覺效果令人想到電視機影像所帶來的空間體驗。儘管這幅作品展現的場景在現實裡隨處可見,但畫家精心營造的傾斜構圖卻高度個人化,而且充滿抽象氣息。

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Australian Open Two

signed with the artist's initials, titled, and dated 'JBRW 2012 "AUSTRALIAN OPEN TWO"' on the reverse
oil and acrylic on linen
223.5 x 152.4 cm. (87 7/8 x 60 in.)
Executed in 2012.

HK$4,500,000 - 5,500,000 

sold for HK$5,500,000

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20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

Hong Kong Auction 25 November 2018