Los Angeles–based painter Jonas Wood (b. 1977),
named the 2017 Artist Honoree by TWO x TWO for AIDS & Art,
unveiled his first major solo museum exhibition last month at the Dallas Museum of Art, gathering 33 works across 13 years.
With multiple comparisons to David Hockney, Wood’s examinations of the commonplace reveal intimate observations of universal themes through worlds conjured from sources including drawings, preparatory collages, and found imagery.
His paintings reference modernist and Pop movements while remaining rooted in the contemporary, resulting in pictorial flatness derived from objects, people, and places.
which offers a scholarly consideration of Wood’s practice in an art historical context.
Hans Ulrich Obrist, who is the Artistic Director of Serpentine Galleries and the Senior Artistic Advisor of The Shed,
New York, as well as a prolific writer and curator, contributed an interview with the artist for the publication.
In an excerpt from that interview, Obrist discusses Wood’s manifold influences, including his grandfather, who was an amateur painter and art collector;
the ceramic works of his wife, artist Shio Kusaka; baseball and basketball trading cards; source material from old books; and art collecting.
Jonas Wood (JW): My interest in ceramics comes from my wife, Shio Kusaka, who is a ceramicist.
When I started making still lifes, I was using her work as part of it, looking at pots with her,
and just getting into the idea of things painted on a pot. It’s an object that tells a story.
It’s very similar to a painting, but it’s this threedimensional vessel.
…They have a shape and form: fluid, graphic, simple. There are cartoons on the side of the pots.
They’re stories, right? So, you started to make all these pots paintings, and you were inspired by the Met, also.
JW: That’s where it all started. It also connects to my wife because when we started going to museums together, I would always look at just the paintings.
But since she was interested in vessels, I started looking at vessels, too.
I think that I super-responded to the black and orange vessels at the Met.
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