written by Maria Vogel
Jonas Wood’s latest exhibit showcases his trademark still lives, where overlapping texture and disorienting domestic scenes grace an array of prints. The collection of works on view, Wood’s first survey of prints, are at once both fun and playful, stoic and questioning. Surveying the room, the prints burst with an array of colors, shapes, and sizes. Closer examination of the works reveal an investigation into content, form, line, and shape.
Wood explores visual themes ranging from the everyday to the most revered cultural icons. In the same room where giant, orange Spalding basketballs gaze down at the viewer, a recreation of Matisse’s famous Red Room, painted as an etching on a pot, sits adjacent. Though the range of these subjects might seem far-reaching, when placed in the same space it is easy to see their relation as over-produced images engrained in our culture. Wood’s work is daring; He is unafraid to confront culturally revered subject matter and make light of it.
This particular group of works views as almost a survey of art history and its subjects. Visual themes ranging from primordial figures, to recreations of modern masterpieces, and commercial logos adorn the same gallery space. Wood bases his two-dimensional ceramic depictions on the work of his wife, sculptor Shio Kusaka. Using differently shaped pots and vases as a new template he portrays everything from interior scenes to toy dinosaurs. Though in some instances obvious and other times deeply hidden, humor and playfulness seem to adorn every one of Wood’s prints.
Wood’s mix of forms creates a narrative both real and imagined. The artist intertwines visual worlds, while maintaining a graphic deftness and vivacious sense of wit.
Jonas Wood Prints will be on view at Gagosian Madison Avenue through May 25, 2018.
Courtesy of Gagosian