Jonas Wood - New Now London Thursday, December 12, 2019 | Phillips
  • Provenance

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

  • Catalogue Essay

    ‘Of all of the possible things I could paint, the thing that interests me is something that I can get close enough to in order to paint it honestly’ – Jonas Wood
    When we look at a painting by Jonas Wood, we are not simply perceiving matter on canvas. Rather, we see an intimate portrait of Wood’s idiosyncratic method of image-making, in which he works through processes of photography, collage, drawing, and finally, painting. The result is a body of work that is at once vividly figurative and texturally abstract, holding stylistic references to the cut-outs of Henri Matisse and, simultaneously, the thick impasto of Vincent van Gogh’s still lifes. Characteristic of Wood’s work are images of the everyday and the overlooked. He imbues within these images an ardent vitality which spurs a re-examination of the objects themselves, as he has done with the prodigiously pared-down Studio Plant, 2007. Depicting a soil-filled pot plant within a sparsely detailed indoor setting, Studio Plant re-invigorates the still-life genre through a dynamic schema of representation. Distinctly contemporary in style, it negotiates variations in colour and experimentations in spatial arrangement which together offer a fresh vision of the everyday.

    Surrounded by the art collection of his grandfather growing up – which comprised artists as diverse as Francis Bacon, Alexander Calder, Robert Motherwell and Andy Warhol, who now sits alongside Wood in the upcoming London New Now auction – Wood developed a dynamic visual universe that ran parallel to those of his eminent predecessors. Joining Warhol and Wood in the sale is Wood’s wife, Shio Kusaka, whose organic porcelain vases engage in an intimate and oscillatory exchange with Wood’s pot plant paintings. Both feeding off each other’s work, the pair were featured in a two-person exhibition at Gagosian in Hong Kong, 2015, followed by their first collaborative museum exhibition at Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar, Netherlands, in 2017. Since his first solo museum exhibition in 2010 at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, Wood has received a wealth of public commissions, including murals for the New York High Line and facades for LAXART and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Wood’s first major survey show at the Dallas Museum of Art this year cements his position as a forerunner of contemporary art, presenting to audiences a series of thirty-three works which announce themselves as both figurative depictions and abstract investigations into the transformative capacities of artistic style and process.


Studio Plant

signed with the artist's initials, titled and dated 'JBRW 07 STUDIO PLANT' on the reverse
oil, graphite and coloured pencil on canvas
71.1 x 38.8 cm (27 7/8 x 15 1/4 in.)
Executed in 2007.

£80,000 - 120,000 

Sold for £187,500

Contact Specialist
Simon Tovey
Specialist, Head of New Now Sale
+44 20 7318 4084

New Now

London Auction 12 December 2019