Rosy's Masks

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  • Condition Report

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  • Provenance

    Anton Kern Gallery, New York
    Private Collection (acquired from the above)
    Sotheby's, London, 15 October 2015, lot 2
    Private Collection, Europe
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    New York, Anton Kern Gallery, Jonas Wood, 20 November - 23 December 2008, no.3, p. 60 (illustrated)
    London, Saatchi Gallery, Abstract America New Painting and Sculpture, 29 May 2009 - 17 January 2010

  • Literature

    Edward Booth-Clibborn, ed., The History of the Saatchi Gallery, London, 2011, p. 778 (illustrated)
    Dan Nadel, ed., Jonas Wood: Interiors, New York, 2012, p. 3 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    The present work, Rosy’s Masks from 2008, is an enchanting example of Wood’s approach to painting; an intimate and domestic composition. Inviting the viewer into the interior of Wood’s grandfather, Rosy’s, home, Rosy’s Masks is a captivating composition taken from the personal diary of images that informs Wood’s prolific oeuvre.

    The patchwork-like wallpaper, complete with regimented pattern fragments, is sewn together in rough geometric shapes, broken by a handful of masks and antlers clustered on the wall. These trophy-like and timeless objects are depicted with the flattened perspective of a cubist painter. Wood notes, ‘My work is inherently flat, and it’s made up of flat planes, but what is carrying a lot of the work is this mark, this definition of this line and this mark that’s carrying through’ (Jonas Wood, quoted in Jonas Wood, exh. cat., David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles, 2015, p. 7). Offset against this cubist use of line, at the forefront of the composition sits a graphic chest of draws cluttered with Rosy’s books, ephemera and an old television set, which remind us that we are in someone's home. Engaging multiple perspectives and mannered lines both the fore-and- background have been spliced together; in this flattened dimension, the viewer is faced with an experience which is at once both representational and abstract.

    Rosy was a significant collector of modern masters, including the work of Francis Bacon, Robert Rauschenberg and Alexander Calder. Wood’s early exposure to his grandfather’s art collection, combined with his fixation on personal spaces and possessions, has undoubtedly been a cornerstone in his artistic development. Revisiting the subject of his grandfather and his home in other vivid compositions, Wood draws on a subject matter close to his heart. 'Of all the possible things I could paint, the thing that interests me is some-thing that I can get close enough to in order to paint honestly. The painters whose work means the most to me – that’s what they were painting. It was their loved ones or the stuff that was in their house. It was always this hyperpersonal thing to me' (Jonas Wood, quoted in Dan Nadel, ed., Jonas Wood: Interiors, New York, 2012, p. 56). Continuing his grandfather’s tradition of collecting, the artist is also a significant collector in his own right, incorporating many of his art acquisitions, including the work of his wife, Shio Kusaka, a notable ceramicist, into the background of his paintings.

    Working from his studio in Los Angeles, Wood’s works have their genesis in photographs. Using collaged source imagery, Wood collates fragments of information to document his familiar surroundings into paintings. The present composition, characteristic of Wood’s work, favours the stylised and highly personal over mere representation. Each minute detail is documented with exactitude and intense observation conveying the personal significance of the artist’s scrutiny, combined with the technical interest in doing so. Indeed, Wood notes ‘I’m using these images as a vehicle for practicing painting…I think of painting as an accumulation of practice. It’s technical. It’s scientific’ (Jonas Wood, quoted in ‘Artist Jonas Wood has Broad Appeal’, cuturedmag, online).

    The familiarity of Jonas Wood’s work lies in the artist’s ability to collate references to the art historical within the context of the domestic. His inviting works pay homage to some of the most influential artists of the twentieth century, producing an aesthetic which has the hallmarks of David Hockney, Alex Katz, Henri Matisse and the early work of Lucian Freud for his compositions.

    Blurring the boundaries between figuration and abstraction, Wood’s stylised and nostalgic composition invites the viewer into his personal painterly enquiry. Taking his grandfather’s domestic scene as a point of departure, the artist gestures toward the primitivism of his artistic precursors. A testament to his artistic acumen, Wood’s works are held in both esteemed international private and public collections including The Broad, the Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Ο ◆6

Rosy's Masks

signed with the artist's initials, titled and dated 'JBRW "Rosy's Masks" 2008' on the reverse
oil on linen
258.1 x 190.5 cm (101 5/8 x 75 in.)
Painted in 2008.

Estimate
£700,000 - 900,000 

Place Advance Bid

Contact Specialist
Henry Highley
Specialist, Head of Evening Sale
+ 44 20 7318 4061 hhighley@phillips.com

20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

London Auction 27 June 2018