Lot 2
  • 2

Jonas Wood

200,000 - 300,000 GBP
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  • Jonas Wood
  • Rosy's Masks
  • signed, titled and dated 2008 on the reverse
  • oil on linen
  • 258.1 by 190.5cm.; 101 1/2 by 75in.


Anton Kern Gallery, New York

Acquired directly from the above by the present owner 


New York, Anton Kern Gallery, Jonas Wood, 2008

London, Saatchi Gallery, Abstract America Today: New Painting and Sculpture, 2009-10


Edward Booth-Clibborn, Ed., The History of the Saatchi Gallery, London 2011, p. 778, illustrated in colour

Dan Nadel, Ed., Jonas Wood: Interiors, New York 2012, p. 3, illustrated in colour


Colour: The colour in the catalogue illustration is fairly accurate, although the overall tonality is deeper and richer in the original. Condition: This work is in very condition. Extremely close inspection reveals two minute fly spots to the top of the left hand edge of the television and a few minute specks of loss to the bottom edge of the canvas: four to the centre and two to the bottom right hand corner. No restoration is apparent when examined under ultra-violet light.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

Catalogue Note

Adorned with the lavish patterns and captivating perspectival flatness for which Jonas Wood has become renowned, Rosy’s Masks is a seminal example of the rich visual tapestry through which the artist explores the otherworldly potential of everyday American life. Wood’s boldly detailed interiors are among the most sought after works in his oeuvre due to their visual resplendence and the personal significance they bear: “The interiors began as reflections on the spaces I grew up in… my grandparents’ and parents’ homes were very aesthetic places, packed with images and objects. It all seeped into me. These are the spaces that inspired me to become an artist, and so they were a natural choice for subject matter” (Jonas Wood in conversation with Ana Vejovic Sharp, in: Dan Nadel, Ed., Jonas Wood: Interiors, 2012, p. 56).

Scattered amongst the turbulent sea of patterns, float the personal ephemera belonging to the artist’s grandfather Rosy who, himself an artist and a collector of several significant artists such as Francis Bacon, Andy Warhol, and Alexander Calder, undoubtedly had a major impact on Wood. Rosy and his home have appeared in some of Wood’s most vibrant works such as Untitled (Rosy), which serve as testament to the artist’s creative demeanour:  “Of all the possible things I could paint, the thing that interests me is some-thing that I can get close enough to in order to paint honestly. The painters whose work means the most to me – that’s what they were painting. It was their loved ones or the stuff that was in their house. It was always this hyperpersonal thing to me” (Ibid.). The present work therefore acts as single leaf within a wider personal diary of images that the artist has been meticulously crafting for little over a decade. By depicting those banal things which he privately holds with such high esteem, Wood transforms the traditions of still life, portraiture, and of course interior paintings into a chaotic world of pulsating colour, nostalgia and unbridled joy.

Wood works almost entirely from photographs, often using collage as an initial study for a work, which accounts for some of the unruly edges and obscure perspectives found in his oeuvre; however as the artist states “the few things I changed make the painting completely different from the photograph” (Ibid., p. 58). Indeed it is his exaggeration of colours, mastery of pattern, negation of definite form, choice of viewpoint, boldness of shape, and honesty of expression which truly bring these works alive.

Wood has been influenced by numerous Modernist painters and parallels can easily be drawn with the work of David Hockney, Henri Rousseau and Van Gogh to name but a few, and the present work holds a particular resonance with the visual freedom expressed by the paintings of Henri Matisse whose The Family of the Artist from 1911 embellishes the use of pattern and personal subject matter in order to form a compelling visual apparatus. But by responding to the world he finds himself in, Wood’s paintings stop short of Modernist emulation, appearing instead to reverberate with an utterly fresh and unmistakably contemporary aesthetic. The pixilated, computer-game drawer handles, the soft buzz of the television screen and the conspicuously photographic perspective in the present work all combine to form a subject and aesthetic that appear familiar, relevant and compelling to both the artist and viewer.