Jonas Wood - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale London Thursday, March 8, 2018 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago
    Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2010

  • Catalogue Essay

    Untitled (Grey Dots), Jonas Wood’s simplified still life painting from 2010 depicts and objectifies his favoured subject matter, the plant. Muted tones are paired with dynamic shapes to present an image in flux, caught between the movement of leaves and the weight of the plant pot. Inviting the viewer into his chosen space, Wood instils the work with a mirage of memory. Intensifying, whilst simultaneously reducing, a quotidian scene, the stylised composition presents the onlooker with Wood’s theatrical extremes of scale.

    Geometrically arranged silhouettes appear to float in time and space, devoid of context and perspective, the artist consciously bestrides modernist abstraction and figuration. The simplified composition of compressed forms invokes Alexander Calder’s abstractly geometric and dynamic mobiles. Commenting on the artist’s influence and practice, Wood notes: ‘Calder would cut a shape out of metal, paint it bright yellow, attach it to a long stick, and hang it from the ceiling. These New Plant paintings are exploring shape and repetition in that same way – through suspension in space’ (Jonas Wood, quoted in Hammer Projects: Jonas Wood, exh. cat., Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, 2010, p. 7). Referencing the tonality rather than the subject matter, through the works given title, Untitled (Grey Dots), the artist emphasises the importance of shape and colour over his preferred horticultural subject matter.

    Like his artistic forbearers, the likes of David Hockney and Henri Matisse, Wood’s opus is committed to representing his surroundings, in particular familiar domestic spaces. Like Hockney and Matisse before him Wood adopts an overtly flattened perspective. In the present composition his conscious choice of bold shapes emphasises the illusion of distorted space. Presenting an ostensibly flat plane, proportions and perspective become secondary to the illusionary and carefully composed work. Through his abstract interpretation of the familiar subject matter, the artist uncompromisingly permits the composition to evoke nostalgia, transporting the viewer into the tranquil landscape of interior scenery.


Untitled (Gray Dots)

signed with the artist's initials, titled and dated 'JBRW 2010 "Untitled (Gray Dots)" JBRW 2010' on the reverse
oil on linen
121.8 x 91.6 cm (47 7/8 x 36 1/8 in.)
Painted in 2010.

£100,000 - 150,000 

Sold for £168,750

Contact Specialist
Tamila Kerimova
Specialist, Head of Day Sale
+ 44 20 7318 4065

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale

London Auction 9 March 2018