JONAS WOOD (B. 1977)
JONAS WOOD (B. 1977)
JONAS WOOD (B. 1977)
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JONAS WOOD (B. 1977)

SK Dino Pot #2

Details
JONAS WOOD (B. 1977)
Wood, J.
SK Dino Pot #2
signed with the artist's initials, titled and dated 'SK DINO POT #2 JBRW 2015' (on the reverse)
oil and acrylic on canvas
90 x 68 in. (228.6 x 172.7 cm.)
Painted in 2015.
Provenance
David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles
Acquired from the above by the present owner, 2016

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Julian Ehrlich
Julian Ehrlich Associate Vice President, Specialist, Head of Post-War to Present Sale

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Lot Essay

Known for his exuberant exploration of the intimate on a monumental scale, Jonas Wood is one of the most sought-after artists today. Working in the lineage of still-life and domestic interiors but with a palpably fresh and singular flair, he is often compared to the likes of David Hockney, Henri Matisse and Pierre Bonnard. Wood’s epic paintings of quotidian objects—plants, pots, basketballs, dogs—command both attention and reverence. The present lot is no exception.

Standing over seven feet tall, SK Dino Pot #2 features a vessel that all but consumes the canvas in a powerfully contrasted monochromatic palette. Rendered on a flat gray background, a prehistoric scene unfolds across the face of the rounded vessel. As perhaps unexpected protagonists, the dinosaurs loping across the landscape may at first appear as imagined embellishments on the vessel’s surface, but in this case, Jonas Wood was painting faithfully from life. SK Dino Pot #2 is inspired by the alluring works in ceramic created by the artist’s wife, artist Shio Kusaka, with whom Wood shares a deep interest in the history of ceramics. Indeed, Kusaka’s ceramic work figures prominently in many of Wood’s canvases. Regarding his inspiration, Jonas Wood has said, “Of all 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. The painters whose work means the most to me—that’s what they were painting. It was their loved ones or the stuff that was in their house. It was always this hyperpersonal thing to me” (J. Wood, quoted in D. Nadel, Jonas Wood: Interiors, Los Angeles, 2012, p. 56).

Towing the line between the elegant and the playful, SK Dino Pot #2 is deceivingly sophisticated – a touchstone of Wood’s oeuvre. Despite his methodically flat approach, Wood conjures dimensionality seemingly out of thin air. While the outline of the vessel encroaches on the edges of the canvas, creating a slightly claustrophobic effect, Wood simultaneously creates an airy atmosphere within the interior dinosaur landscape. All of these juxtapositions—light and dark, open and compressed, small and large—are powerful tools in Wood’s arsenal, which come together with masterful balance in SK Dino Pot #2.

Roberta Smith, speaking about Wood’s ability to coax multiple dimensions from the flat picture plane, noted, “More than ever his works negotiate an uneasy truce among the abstract, the representational, the photographic and the just plain weird. They achieve this with a dour yet lavish palette, tactile but implacably workmanlike surfaces and a subtly perturbed sense of space in which seemingly flattened planes and shapes undergo shifts in tone and angle that continually declare their constructed, considered, carefully wrought artifice" (R. Smith, "Art in Review: Jonas Wood," The New York Times, March 18, 2011).

Iconically Jonas Wood, the present lot illustrates the artist’s remarkable ability to transform mundane subjects into entrancing and visually dynamic compositions, melding a meticulous technical approach to form and composition with an undying sense of playfulness. By fusing classical influences with his bold, modern style, Wood reinvigorates the genre, creating works such as SK Dino Pot #2, which effortlessly capture the essence of both the timeless and the contemporary.

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