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  • Provenance

    Anton Kern Gallery, New York

  • Exhibited

    New York, Anton Kern Gallery, Jonas Wood, 12 July-10 August 2007

  • Catalogue Essay

    Possessed of a calm virtuosity, Jonas Wood approaches the quotidian with an eye to beautification. He owes much to the painterly tradition of the still life: in his depictions of bathrooms, living rooms and porches, he recognises the precious quality of stasis. He imbues even the most crowded space with a delicate calm. Taking a flat, almost naïve approach to painterly form, he has earned comparisons to another painter of L.A. life – the preeminent David Hockney.

    Fish Tank takes up a typically prosaic subject, and instils in it a quiet grandeur. Although a painter of the mundane, Wood is never tedious; against a simple sand and terracotta background, he imagines a patchwork of deeper tones. The tank is a luscious space inscribed into a sun-drenched landscape. Rendered in interlocking blocks of colour, it also reveals a Cubist inheritance; the resonance is not overbearing, but nonetheless an integral part of the work’s fabric. Wood has a deft touch, favouring the subtly pleasurable over the brash or heavy-handed. His work is historically informed but not overly weighed down by reference.

    The domestic animal and its habitat recur in Wood’s work. He is a painter of fish tanks as he is of bird cages. In one sense, these prove ideal forms; they suggest an interplay between restraint and magnificence which is at the heart of the painter’s work. In Fish Tank, both flora and fauna are subtle in their otherworldliness. Carefully avoiding overstatement, the artist bodies forth a vision of cool tranquility in sweltering heat.

  • 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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Fish Tank

oil on canvas
180.4 x 178.2 cm (71 x 70 1/8 in.)
Signed, titled and dated 'JONAS WOOD FISH TANK 2007 JBRW' on the reverse.

£50,000 - 70,000 

Sold for £158,500

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Peter Sumner
Head of Contemporary Art, London
[email protected]
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Contemporary Art Evening Sale

London 29 June 2015 7pm