Jonas Wood is a contemporary artist based in Los Angeles, CA. His paintings offer an updated and modernized version of traditional painting genres. Often referred to as a visual diary, his artworks capture his personal history and the beauty of ordinary everyday settings and objects.
His acrylic and oil paintings uniquely capture contemporary life through multiple points of view created with layers of geometric shapes, patterns, and colors. These fragmented yet figurative works allude to his memories and visions. Wood uses his day to day interactions and surrounding environments as a primary source of influence. His preliminary collage-based studies break apart and reassemble images from photographs. Furthermore, he combines recognizable imagery with a personal approach that juxtaposes the new and familiar.
Painting portraits, still lifes, and intimate interior scenes, Wood’s diverse painting themes often focus on a single subject. His imagery includes basketball paraphernalia, potted plants, animals, and furniture. Some of the recurring figures present in his works include ceramic vessels or potted plants derived from the artworks of ceramicist Shio Kusaka, his wife, and their shared collection featuring Ruby Neri, Magdalena Suarez, Michael Frimkess, and Akio Takamori.
Wood received a BA in psychology from Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an MFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Washington. His paintings subtly reference psychological themes as he highlights the ties between the past and present. Some of his artistic influences include the art of Lucian Freud, Alex Katz, and Henri Matisse. Additionally, David Hockney’s suburban subjects presented in a dreamlike manner inform his depiction of suburbia.
Wood’s slightly abstract painting style combines the graphic style of Pop Art and the fragmented perspectives of Analytic Cubism. He embraces figuration and abstraction through a distortion of scale and ignoring the natural colors of objects. His bright and colorful palette emphasizes patterns and distorted shapes. Intersecting geometric forms painted against monochromatic backgrounds help achieve the flattened aspect characteristic of his art. However, his use of flatforms still creates a sense of depth that further enhances the abstraction.
In 2019, Phaidon published the first monograph dedicated to his practice. His artworks have been shown in solo and group exhibitions throughout the US and abroad. Additionally, they are part of the permanent collections of notable cultural institutions such as the Centre Pompidou, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Hammer Museum, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, Fundación Jumex, Dallas Museum of Art, and MoMA.
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