ISSY WOOD (B. 1993)
ISSY WOOD (B. 1993)
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Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
ISSY WOOD (B. 1993)

Over Armour (non-linear, non-violent)

ISSY WOOD (B. 1993)
Over Armour (non-linear, non-violent)
signed and dated 'Isobel Wood 2019' (on the reverse)
oil on velvet
76 ¾ x 55 3/8in. (195 x 140.5cm.)
Executed in 2019
Carlos Ishikawa Gallery, London.
Private Collection (acquired from the above in 2019).
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
Special notice
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent. Cancellation under the EU Consumer Rights Directive may apply to this lot. Please see here for further information. This lot has been imported from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice.
Sale room notice
Please note that the medium for this work is oil on velvet, and not as stated in the printed catalogue.

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Tessa Lord
Tessa Lord Director, Senior Specialist

Lot Essay

Towering nearly two metres in height, Issy Wood’s Over Armour (non-linear, non-violent) is a bewitching trompe loeil. Meticulously painted on a rich, luxuriant swathe of velvet, it sits somewhere between object and artwork: a depiction of a puffer jacket that seems to come to life in tactile, three-dimensional splendour. An artist, writer and musician—who recently released her acclaimed debut EP Cries Real Tears!—Wood has risen to public attention over the past few years. Her surreal, heavily textured paintings slip seamlessly between worlds, inspired by both historic artefacts and contemporary consumer culture. Though unfilled by a human body, the present work’s jacket transmits an uncanny living presence, its surface glistening and mutating under different light conditions. Wood has shown her work at institutions including MoMA Warsaw and Tate St Ives, most recently mounting a major solo exhibition at the X Museum, Beijing, between December 2020 and February 2021.

Born in America, Wood completed her studies in London, graduating from Goldsmiths in 2015 and the Royal Academy Schools three years later. While gaining rapid recognition for her paintings, she simultaneously pursued her musical interests, signing with Mark Ronson’s Zelig Records in 2019 and subsequently releasing the successful singles ‘Debt’ and ‘Cry/Fun’. Her paintings and songs share a similar sense of enigmatic metamorphosis: ‘They’re very similar attitudes’, Wood says of the relationship between the two art forms. ‘I make a lot of paintings and songs very fast, and being in the proverbial zone with each is as close to a meditation practice as I’ll ever get. Both painting and producing music deal with layers, scrapping the parts you don’t want, and happy accidents’ (I. Wood, quoted in N. Rea, ‘“They’re Very Similar Attitudes”: Artist Issy Wood on Her Double Life as a Painting Sensation and Ascendant Pop Star’, Artnet News, 20 November 2020).

During her studies at the Royal Academy, Wood would regularly peruse auction catalogues, fascinated by their glossy presentation of objects that appeared in the public eye for the most fleeting of moments. It was a dynamic that she also observed on social media, where possessions and trends hovered like ethereal illusions. By using materials such as velvet, she seeks to poke fun at this process, transforming her everyday subjects into disarming, surreal visions—their forms cropped at strange angles, their surfaces mercurial and alien. The human inside them is long gone, replaced by an outer, indexical shell—Wood recalls her parents, both medical professionals, discussing the body in similarly empty, clinical terms. While the isolated garment recalls the hyper-real visions of Domenico Gnoli, it also evokes the intricate detail of Renaissance and Classical portraiture, where clothes stood as a symbol of status. This perhaps sheds light on Wood’s use of the word ‘armour’, taking to task a society that shields itself with objects, offering them up as distractions from its deeply human flaws.

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