Issy Wood - 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale Hong Kong Tuesday, June 21, 2022 | Phillips

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  • "Wood treats [her subjects] like textbooks of desire, manuals for mysterious constructions of want."
    —Matthew McLean


    Born in the United States and trained in the United Kingdom—having been awarded a BA in Fine Art and History of Art from Goldsmith’s in 2015 and a MA from the Royal Academy Schools in 2018—Issy Wood has enjoyed a notable rise to critical acclaim since her first solo show at Carlos/Ishikawa in 2017. Her first major institutional show took place just two years later at Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art (2019), shortly followed by a solo show at JTT in New York (2020), and at Beijing’s X Museum (2020), whom also acquired work by the artist for their permanent collection.  


    During Wood’s time at the Royal Academy Schools in London, she would often browse auction catalogues and became fascinated by their glossy, polished presentations of works of art coming up for sale that would soon disappear once again from the public eye, finding new homes with the lucky buyers. The artist also noticed this phenomenon on social media platforms, where objects, possessions and even people come and go at the flick of a swipe. Drawing inspiration from this sense of impermanence, Wood’s captivating canvases seek to parody the associations with luxury as she transforms everyday objects into uncanny visions that are meticulously sumptuous, yet undercut with a haunting beauty.



    Moncler Gamme Bleu Fall-Winter 2015/16 Show

    Video Courtesy of Moncler



    A Junction is a marvellous painting from Wood’s oeuvre that perfectly showcases the young artist’s distinctive approach to figuration. A black and white, striped puffer jacket fills the frame, vertically bisected by a zipper securely fastened all the way up. Playfully alluding to the work’s title to reveal the artist’s hallucinogenic humour, though the monochromatic bands meet in the middle present a literal junction, they further bring to mind the zig zags of a zebra crossing. Painted in 2020, the work is masterfully rendered in oil on linen with such a precision for detail, if it were not for the scale of the piece, one might be mistaken for misinterpreting the smooth canvas surface for a tactile, three-dimensional object.


    “I’m convinced the way I configure these otherwise alluring products and garments often lowers them, literally, in tone, or happily switches them from being an advert to an expression of perversion, in the way painting can do.”
    —Issy Wood



    Domenico Gnoli, Chemisette Verte, 1967

    Ⓒ Domenico Gnoli



    Like the magnified paintings by Domenico Gnoli, Wood transforms the banal into the extraordinary by zooming into the garment to such an extent that it sits somewhere between real and surreal, inviting viewers to ponder on the mysterious identity of the wearer as a disquieting sense of the unknown adds to the mix. Highlighted by an ambiguous light-source that glistens the jacket’s creases and contours with a seductive artificiality, the composition exemplifies Woods’ exploration into the relationships between consciousness and commodity, life and form, and objects and objectification.


    Beyond being well recognised as an accomplished painter who has catapulted into popularity amongst art collectors, enthusiasts, and institutions alike, Wood has also seen great success with her musical interests, signing with Mark Ronson’s Zelig Records in 2019 with several singles and EPs available on streaming services (click to listen on Spotify)


    Phillips recently achieved the artist’s top result at auction with Wood’s work, Chalet (2019), which hammered down in London on 3 March 2022 for 441,000 GBP Premium (587,451 USD) against pre-sale estimates of 100,000 - 150,000 GBP (133,209 - 199,813 USD).

    • Provenance

      Carlos/Ishikawa, London
      Acquired from the above by the present owner


A Junction

signed and dated 'Issy Wood 2020' on the reverse
oil on linen
131 x 100 cm. (51 5/8 x 39 3/8 in.)
Painted in 2020.

Full Cataloguing

HK$900,000 - 1,200,000 

Sold for HK$1,512,000

Contact Specialist

Danielle So
Specialist, Head of Day Sale
+852 2318 2027

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale

Hong Kong Auction 21 June 2022