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  • Provenance

    Anton Kern Gallery, New York
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    New York, Anton Kern Gallery, Jonas Wood, November 20 - December 23, 2008

  • Catalogue Essay

    “The sports thing is funny. A lot of people think my work on the subject is based on being a super sports fan, because I'm from Boston or because I make these nostalgic pictures, but really the whole sports theme is just a vehicle for practicing portraiture” Jonas Wood, 2013

    Jonas Wood’s Chico is a quintessential embodiment of the artist’s style of portraiture, one in which he captures not only the distinguishable features of his subjects but also a pivotal moment in action. Here, Wood depicts the American professional boxer Diego Corrales, known as “Chico”. Completed a year after the athlete’s death, the portrait commemorates the glorified boxer in a moment of strength. Wood perfectly renders a dramatic point in time through his uniquely fragmented painting style, right as Chico prepares to throw a punch. Soft tonal variations in the subject’s gray-white torso enhance the physical strain of the moment, while intense monochromatic contrast outline shadows in his face to depict an expression of intense determination.

    This intensity could not be achieved without the step-by-step process for which Wood is known for. Chico, like many of his other paintings, was likely derived from self-made collages and found imagery, the final image being painted a top of multiple under-drawings. The result is a fragmented pictorial plane that calls attention to the flatness of the canvas while still retaining its representational quality. While not completely abstracted, Wood’s style of portraiture is unique in its ability to be identifiable without being photo-realistic. In the present lot, a polished black background pops the subject out of the canvas, enhancing the vibrant red, pink and yellow accents. We are immediately transported to the intensity of the scene as our eyes move from Chico’s bright red gloves to the iconic tattoos on his body and then down to the hot pink letters that read “Chico”, reminding us of the artist’s subject. The present lot is a prime example of the artist’s personal aesthetic, now instantly recognizable within contemporary portraiture.

  • 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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Chico

2008
oil on linen
48 x 48 in. (121.9 x 121.9 cm)
Initialed, titled and dated "CHICO JBRW 2008" on the reverse.

Estimate
$150,000 - 250,000 

Sold for $173,000

Contact Specialist
Kate Bryan
Head of Evening Sale
New York
+ 1 212 940 1267

20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

New York Auction 8 November 2015 7pm