Yellow and Orange Orchid Clipping, 2018, 66 x 48 inches, hand-knotted silk, 150 knots/inch, Edition 30 + 3APs
House plants and flowers have long been a subject of Jonas Wood’s work, whether on their own, within paintings of interiors or alongside portraits of people. In his rug, Yellow and Orange Orchid Clipping , Wood renders a segment of a beautifully flowering orchid in the colorful, graphic flatness that has become synonymous with his painting style.
The hyper-graphic bravura of Jonas Wood's style has one foot in the no-nonsense Anglo-American tradition of hard-edged realism—with an affinity to artists such as Stuart Davis, Charles Demuth and Charles Sheeler and the other foot in the European Modernists such as Henry Matisse. Wood’s images contain a quirky oblique romanticism that he reveals from within everyday simple situations and objects. His graphicality and deceptively unpretentious spot-on draughtsmanship, and his rejection of stodgy atmospheric painterly effects is ideally suited for translating into a gorgeous hand-knotted silk rug.
Jonas Wood’s paintings and works on paper display overlapping textures and disorienting compressions of space; the intimate settings invoke the work of forebears such as Matisse and Hockney, yet his distorted verdant rooms possess an affectless cut-out appearance all his own. In drawings, collages, watercolors, and paintings, outlines of pots and vases frame landscape and interior imagery. Drawn and painted vessels set against neutral backgrounds contain a sprawling green golf course; a coral reef with exotic fish; a lush garden; a painter’s studio, all scenes that end abruptly at the parameters of the object.
Jonas Wood was 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. Murals and solo exhibitions include “Primitives: Chris Caccamise and Jonas Wood,” Cereal Art, Philadelphia (2007); “Hammer Projects: Jonas Wood,” Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2010); “Clippings,” Lever House Art Collection, New York (2013–14); “Shelf Still Life,” High Line Art, Friends of the High Line, New York (2014); LA><ART Facade, Los Angeles (2014); and “Still Life with Two Owls,” Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2016). Wood’s work is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; The Broad, Los Angeles; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.
Wood currently lives and works in Los Angeles.
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GoodWeave’s founder Kailash Satyarthi was recently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in honor of his career dedicated to ending the exploitation of children around the world. GoodWeave, an international nonprofit organization geared toward abolishing child labor in the carpet industry, has liberated and educated thousands of children, bringing them from carpet looms to classrooms. Satyarthi and GoodWeave work to guide consumers to its Child Labor Free Certified rugs and replicate their market-based approach of certification in other sectors. Kailash said at the ceremony, “I refuse to accept that the shackles of slavery can ever be stronger than the quest for freedom.” He asked those in attendance to place their hands over their hearts and “listen to the child inside.”