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Jonas Wood art captures contemporary American life and blurs the boundaries of figuration and abstraction, showing similarities to the works of Hockney, Matisse and Picasso.
With a style rooted both in Analytic Cubism and in Contemporary Pop art, Jonas Wood brings together two seemingly disparate traditions to present contemporary life from multiple perspectives.
His colourful art can be found in the permanent collections of institutions including the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the Saatchi Gallery in London and The Museum of Modern Art in New York.
A brief history
Jonas Wood has lived and studied across the US. Born in 1977 in Boston, Massachusetts, he graduated in 1999 from Hobart and William Smith Colleges, New York, and received his M.F.A. in 2002 from the University of Washington, Seattle. Today, he lives and works in Los Angeles, California.
Wood also took a scenic route to becoming a professional artist. He considered pursuing a PhD in psychology for some time, and his artwork contains subtle psychological elements, tying together elements of the past and the present, and empty but intimate spaces.
“My parents had a couple of Matisse prints… I grew up with the green-and-pink Warhol cow wallpaper in our hallway. And my grandfather had a serious art collection: a big Bacon painting, a Lichtenstein, Calder, Rauschenberg” – Jonas Wood on childhood
Jonas Wood’s signature style
Jonas Wood is best known for his densely patterned paintings of domestic interiors, landscapes and sports events. In creating artworks from everyday objects and domestic scenes, Wood extracts the beauty from the ordinary.
One of the reasons for the artist’s huge success is the friendly and accessible nature of his work, and modern objects such as baseball trading cards, iPhone snapshots and magazine illustrations, both of which appeal to a wide range of collectors.
Wood utilises a number of artistic mediums including collage, drawings, photographs and paintings, both in acrylic and oil and on various supports including cardboard and canvas. By using photographs to create drawings which eventually inform his paintings, objects become flattened, creating a myriad of shapes, colours and intersecting geometric patterns.
Jonas Wood art often displays overlapping textures and disorienting compressions of space. He often features objects with their own self-contained images such as a TV set or a canvas, creating complex, layered compositions. Outlines of pots and vases also frame landscape and interior imagery, scenes that end abruptly at the parameters of the object.
“I’m less of a de Kooning and more like Lichtenstein” – Jonas Wood on composition
Jonas Wood art features intimate settings invoke the work of forebears such as Matisse, while the flattened designs reflect Picasso’s primitivism and surrealism.
He also cites Lucian Freud, David Hockney and Alex Katz as major influences, claiming: “All three of them are superheroes.”
“Although Wood pays homage to Van Gogh along with other abstract colorists like Matisse, Picasso and Keith Haring, his works are decidedly modern… Both steeped in tradition yet completely fresh, Wood captures the impossible sharpness of modernity with the familiar feelings of home.” – The Huffington Post
Why invest in Jonas Wood art
According to artnet’s Price Database, there has been a steadily growing demand to invest in Jonas Wood art since arriving on the market in 2013. In fact, every painting that has come to auction has sold above estimate. In 2015, 19 lots changed hands for a combined total of $4.2 million, and in 2016 another 16 lots sold for a cumulative $3.2 million.
What’s more, Wood’s star continues to rise. He set a new auction record in May 2017 when Black Still Life (2012) sold for $1.1 million at Sotheby’s New York, while six-foot-square still life Kitchen on Palms (2008) beat its $350,000 top estimate to sell for $588,500 at Christies New York in late 2017.
However, those looking to buy Jonas Wood art may struggle to find the perfect piece. “Few medium-sized canvases by Wood come to market… Usually, it’s his very large interior scenes that can reach upwards of $1 million dollars now” – Artnet auctions specialist Conner Williams.
Interested in finding out more? Get in touch with Maddox Gallery, or pay a visit to one of our three central London locations and speak with one of our Sotheby’s trained art consultants.