Gagosian is pleased to present new paintings and works on paper by Jonas Wood.
In his boldly colored graphic works, Wood combines art historical references with images of the objects, interiors, and people that comprise the fabric of his daily life. Translating the three-dimensional world around him into pure color and line, he confounds expectations of scale and vantage point, causing the flat picture plane to bristle with an abstract charge.
One room of this exhibition is dedicated to a series of new paintings of architectural interiors and exteriors. Wood composes these through a process of layering and collaging, using photography, projection, drawing, and then painting. Sources are translated and mixed into generations, which then become the basis for the large-scale paintings. The “seams” are dissolved in the final work, even if the impression of an assemblage remains palpable. Images of Wood’s family members and domestic surroundings recur in his paintings, revealing the importance of familial dynamics in shaping time, space, and identity. For example, Young Architect (2019) is based on a photograph from the mid-sixties in which Wood’s father stands on a construction site where timber beams cross over each other, their grain echoing the forms made by the living trees visible behind. In Inglewood Listing (2019), Wood has painted the quiet scene of a room, based on a photograph from the original real estate listing of his home from the early 2010s, which contains similarly grained timber beams and green foliage. Set more than fifty years after the photograph taken of his father, it contains a sense of autobiographical nostalgia rendered through the depiction of living space.
Wood’s technical mastery of patterning and compositional structure is particularly evident in his depictions of pots and ceramic vessels, which, devoid of depth and shading, sit in stark contrast to gray tonal backgrounds. Turned into planar spaces for imagery, each pot becomes a painting within a painting. Several of the depicted vessels draw from the work of Henri Matisse. While early examples of Matisse appropriations have previously appeared in collaborative exhibitions with Shio Kusaka (Wood’s wife) at Gagosian Hong Kong (2015), and at Museum Voorlinden, Netherlands (2017–18), this exhibition introduces the largest group to date. Wood’s translations of Matisse paintings here include Moroccan Landscape (1912), with its muted purples and blues, and several iconic works featuring bright red backgrounds, such as The Lute (1943), Interior with Black Fern (1948), Red Interior, Still Life on a Blue Table (1947), and Interior in Venetian Red (1946)—the latter two of which Wood has fused together within the contours of a single pot.
Wood also represents vessels and imagery by contemporary ceramists, including Michael Frimkess and Magdalena Suarez Frimkess. In M.S.F. Fish Pot #7 (2016), a hollowware pot decorated with fish and marine flora is rendered as a flat, round plane. Lacking a single focal point, the shapes form a familiar yet chaotic jumble, turned, in typical Wood style, into an organized system of color and plane.
Each painting in the exhibition is accompanied by a corresponding small-scale work on paper, emphasizing Wood’s mastery of kaleidoscopic shifts, while reiterating visual and referential relationships across discrete bodies of work.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue.
Wood’s first solo museum exhibition in the United States in almost a decade opened on March 24 at the Dallas Museum of Art and will close on July 14, 2019.
Behind the Art
Jonas Wood in Hong Kong
Join Jonas Wood on a virtual tour through the creation of his first solo exhibition in Hong Kong. Wood narrates the genesis and development of the new paintings, drawings, and wallpaper.
Gagosian Quarterly Spring 2019
The Spring 2019 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring Red Pot with Lute Player #2 by Jonas Wood on its cover.
Jonas Wood: Prints
On the occasion of Jonas Wood’s first survey of prints, the artist spoke about the development of his printmaking practice and its influence on his paintings with legendary Los Angeles–based printmaker Jacob Samuel.
Jonas Wood: Mural
In Los Angeles, the Museum of Contemporary Art’s 5,400-square-foot façade now hosts a vibrant mural by one of the city’s own artists. Meredith Mendelsohn reports on the impact the mural has on revitalizing the museum’s exterior and downtown.
Jonas Wood is available for online reading from August 2 through August 31 as part of the From the Library series. Published on the occasion of his 2019 exhibition at Gagosian, 555 West 24th Street, New York, the softcover catalogue features full-color reproductions of thirty new paintings and works on paper that range from his familiar and beloved pots to his most recent series of architectural interiors and exteriors.
Jonas Wood (New York: Gagosian, 2019)
Friday, April 26, 2019, 6–7pm
Gagosian, West 24th Street, New York
Join Jonas Wood for a signing of his latest book, published on the occasion of his exhibition at Gagosian, West 24th Street, New York. The softcover catalogue features full-color reproductions of thirty new paintings and works on paper that range from his familiar and beloved pots to his most recent series of architectural interiors and exteriors.
Jonas Wood, Young Architect, 2019 © Jonas Wood
Frieze Chelsea Night
Friday, May 3, 2019, 6–8pm
Gagosian, West 24th Street and West 21st Street, New York
Galleries and non-profits located in Chelsea will remain open to Frieze audiences after hours. New paintings by Jonas Wood will be on view at Gagosian, West 24th Street, New York, and Jeff Wall’s first exhibition with the gallery will be on view at Gagosian, West 21st Street, New York.
Jeff Wall, Weightlifter, 2015 © Jeff Wall