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  • Provenance

    Anton Kern Gallery, New York

  • Catalogue Essay

    When color challenges you, and tells you a plant is blue not green, then maybe color can ask you new questions about what you are seeing.” Jonas Wood, 2010

    The paintings of Los Angeles-based, Boston-bred Jonas Wood are visually digested in much the same way that we perceive and become part of the patterns of contemporary American life. Linear webs of geometric color in dreamlike interiors, neither entirely figurative nor completely abstracted, establish a subtle yet distinctly palpable balance of formal concerns with an escapist tone. Wood’s still-life paintings are projections of false memory that conjure an instinctive reaction of having been there but never having noticed the vibrancy and charm of a moment. Of his clever ability to rebuild and dissect the spaces in the world around him, Wood explains, “I’m interested in exploring the spaces that I’ve inhabited and the psychological impact they’ve had on me and my memories of them, and then I can create a new memory of that space.” (R. Bates, “Jonas Wood at Anton Kern Gallery,” Architectural Digest, 2013)

    The starkness of Wood’s compositional grid cannot be misunderstood to be overly simplistic. When inferred through his recognizable nods to perspicuous art historical developments, the seeming simplicity becomes undeniably complex. The color of Pop, the expansiveness of Modernism, and the primitivism of Cubism merge in a disjointed picture plane in this portrait of collector Benedikt Taschen from 2010. The present lot indeed appears as isolated cut-outs in their own right as opposed to any attempt by the artist to paste the forms together. The work itself depicts a man, an ordinary man – not the renowned collector we know— adorned in a simple white short and drawstrings pants, standing outdoors. He is bathed in sunlight as he enters the foreground of the picture, expressively gesturing at a harmless passerby. Yet the dense bisection of lines, the rich color of shadows, and the disorienting spatial construction all merge in a union that defies categorical abstraction if only by the pure mastery with which Wood paints. “I’m less of a de Kooning and more like Lichtenstein,” says Wood, “so it’s a compositional decision, I guess.” (B. Powers, “A Talk with Jonas Wood, ArtNews, 2015)

  • Artist Biography

    Jonas Wood

    American • 1977

    Boston-born, Los Angeles-based artist Jonas Wood is best known for his colorful, semi-abstract interior scenes and still-lifes. Both in style and subject matter, Wood evokes the work of his predecessors Henri Matisse, Alex Katz and David Hockney. The artist is known to produce paintings, prints, collages and even sculptures with the help of his wife, ceramicist Shio Kusaka. 

    One of Wood’s more distinctive motifs is his repeated use of flattened vase-like forms, often featuring self-contained narratives against a more neutral background. The artist received his MFA from the University of Washington in 2002, and his work can be found in the collections of major museums such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney and the Guggenheim.

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B. Taschen

oil, acrylic on linen
52 x 72 in. (132.1 x 182.9 cm)
Signed, titled and dated "B. Taschen 2010 Jonas Wood" on the reverse.

$100,000 - 150,000 

Sold for $305,000

Contact Specialist
Amanda Stoffel
Head of Evening Sale
New York
+ 1 212 940 1261

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

New York Evening Sale 14 May 2015 7pm