Lot Content

Global notice COVID-19 Important notice
Jonas Wood (b. 1977)
Jonas Wood (b. 1977)
2 More
Property from a Prominent Asian Private Collection
Jonas Wood (b. 1977)

M.S.F. Fish Pot #7

Details
Jonas Wood (b. 1977)
M.S.F. Fish Pot #7
signed with the artist's initials, titled and dated ‘JBRW 2016 M.S.F. FISH POT #7’ (on the reverse)
oil and acrylic on canvas
72 x 72 in. (182.8 x 182.8 cm.)
Painted in 2016.
Provenance
Gagosian Gallery, New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner
Exhibited
New York, Gagosian Gallery, Jonas Wood, April–July, 2019.

Brought to you by

Jacky Ho
Jacky Ho

Lot Essay

Jonas Wood’s large-scale canvases depicting colorful ceramic pots have become some of the most recognizable paintings in contemporary art. They combine personal memories and meaning with art historical references and push at the boundaries of traditional categorization. In M.S.F. Fish Pot #7, Wood reprises his popular fish motif, using a form that has inspired artists for centuries. In doing so, he joins figures as diverse as Pablo Picasso and Alexander Calder who have appropriated the piscine form for its highly symbolic associations with wealth and harmony. Reimagining his surrounding world, Wood upends traditional conceptions of scale and dimension. The pot depicted here is massive in size in comparison to its real world counterpart. These discrepancies between real life and the artist’s rendering of it makes his works feel familiar but foreign, intimate yet removed.

Although created on a large scale, M.S.F. Fish Pot #7 stands nearly six-foot tall, exploring the canvas remains a remarkably intimate experience. Many of the pots that Wood recreates are based in works on his own collection, works either in his studio or home that he lives with every day. His wife, Shio Kusaka, is an accomplished ceramicist, and this led him to exploring these three-dimensional forms in a two-dimensional painted format. In M.S.F Fish Pot #7 a large, bulbous hollowware pot is adorned with various fish and underwater motifs. Three fish dart across the surface, their bodies twisting and turning as they dance through the colorful marine vegetation. This active composition encourages the eye to move around the pot, but as the three-dimensional object is rendering as a flat form, what might appear chaotic, infact—under Wood’s direction—transforms into an organized system of color and plane.

Wood grew up surrounded by art. “My grandfather collected a lot of art in a short period, for not even twenty years in the 1960s and ‘70s,” he explains, “… Warhol, Bacon, Motherwell, Jim Dine, Larry Rivers, Calder ... my grandparents’ and parents’ homes were very aesthetic places, packed with images and objects. It all seeped into me” (J. Wood in conversation with A. V. Sharp, Jonas Wood: Interiors, exh. cat., Anton Kern Gallery, New York, 2012, p. 56). He recalls that the Cubists, the Impressionists and the Fauves, along with artists such as Alexander Calder, David Hockney and Stuart Davis, were frequently extolled to him as “examples of greatness in painting” (J. Wood, quoted in interview with E-L. Tovey, Dossier, 3 April 2012).

Wood’s interest in ceramic pots bears witness to the artistic exchange he shares with his wife and through his study, he found a medium closely aligned with his own artistic aims. “I became interested in the Greek pots,” he explained. “Like basketball cards, they have a shape and a form, and they have images that are very flat, graphic, and simple. Basically, there are cartoons on the sides of the pots that tell stories” (J. Wood, quoted in J. Samet, “Beer with a Painter, LA Edition: Jonas Wood,” Hyperallergic, 12 September 2015). This marriage of image and anecdote is reflected in the artist’s practice more broadly, where depictions of furniture, people, architecture and art-objects are saturated with personal meaning.

Drawing parallels to the crisp forms and stylistic tendencies of some of the twentieth century’s most important artists, Wood’s emphasis on flat planes of color and even light create a tension as the depicted scenes flit between two and three dimensions. M.S.F. Fish Pot #7 is a stellar example of Wood’s fragmentary rendering and definitively positions the artist within the art historical canon.

More from ONE: A Global Sale of the 20th Century

View All
View All