Like Henri Matisse and David Hockney before him, Jonas Wood dedicated his practice to depicting the domestic spaces that he grew up in and currently inhabits. As with his artistic forbearers, Wood depicts these spaces with a flattened perspective, often referencing the original photographs and collages he uses to build these images. Beginning with his New Plant series of 2009, Wood turned from larger interior scenes to still lifes of potted plants that were often heavily featured in earlier paintings. These still lifes became a jumping off point for the artist to push towards abstraction in a new way.
Untitled (Red and Pink on Tan) (Lot 604) and Untitled (Big Yellow Dot) (Lot 605) are two examples of Wood's New Plant series that capture the artist's move towards abstraction. By titling these works with reference to colour as opposed to subject matter, Wood signals to the viewer that he prizes colour and form above the faithful reproduction of potted plants as they would appear in real life. Driven to push his forms into abstraction, Wood began to re-examine the mobiles of Alexander Calder.
"I think it was a reaction to seeing or re-seeing the Calder work. Calder would cut a shape out of metal, paint it bright yellow, attach it to a long stick, and hang it from the ceiling. These New Plant paintings are exploring shape and repetition in that same way – through suspension in space." 1 In both paintings, the forms of colour seem to float as a mobile would, as opposed to taking on the heavy form that would be suitable for a potted plant placed on the floor or a table. In this way, Untitled (Red and Pink on Tan) and Untitled (Big Yellow Dot) are a testament to the beauty that exists in quotidian objects. Wood shows us that one does not need a majestic Calder mobile to catch a glimpse of graceful rhythm and movement, but can enjoy the soft breeze of an air conditioner gently ruffling the leaves of a house plant.
 Jonas Wood cited in exh. cat. Hammer Projects: Jonas Wood, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, 2010, p. 7
Jonas Wood (b. 1977, USA) holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Hobart and William Smith Colleges, as well as a Masters of Fine Arts degree from University of Washington. Wood uses nostalgia, memory, and perception as reference points for the subject matter of his paintings. Using sharp colors and lines the artist flattens space, focusing the viewer on the vibrant subject matter through use of striking compositions. Wood's signature combination of vivid hues and deliberately simple planes has gained a following and led to numerous exhibitions, including at Blum & Poe, Los Angeles (2007); Anton Kern Gallery, New York (2007); David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles (2012) and Lever House, New York (2013), amongst others. Wood's works can be found in the permanent collections of international institutions, including the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
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