“You could call my work a visual diary or even a personal history. I’m not going to paint something that doesn’t have anything to do with me. Of all of the possible things I could paint, the thing that interests me is something that I can get close enough to in order to paint it honestly.”
Born in Boston in 1977, Jonas Wood grew up surrounded by the art collection of his Grandfather, featuring the work of artists such as Francis Bacon, Alexander Calder, Jim Dine, Robert Motherwell, Larry Rivers, and Andy Warhol. He received a BA from Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, New York, in 1999, majoring in psychology and minoring in studio art. He then attended the University of Washington, Seattle, where he received an MFA in painting and drawing in 2002.
In his boldly coloured, graphic works – including paintings, drawings and prints – Wood combines artistic historical references with images of the objects, interiors, and people that comprise the fabric of his life. Translating the three-dimensional world around him into flat colour and line, he confounds expectations of scale and vantage point. Common subjects include plants, portraits and sports imagery, all of which come together in Wood’s lush interiors and intricate still lifes.
In 2010, Wood had his first solo museum exhibition, at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. The exhibition was followed by a number of public commissions, including murals for the High Line, New York (Shelf Still Life, 2014) and the façades of LAXART, Los Angeles (2014) and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (Still Life with Two Owls (MOCA), 2016).
Wood currently shares a studio with artist Shio Kusaka, his wife since 2002, and the pair often work in tandem with motifs migrating from Kusaka’s ceramic vessels to Wood’s paintings and back again. He is represented by the renowned Gagosian Gallery, and in 2015 presented Blackwelder in Hong Kong, which brought together the pair’s works in a dedicated two-person exhibition. This was followed by the couple’s first collaborative museum exhibition, at Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar, Netherlands, in 2017. In 2019, the Dallas Museum of Art presented Wood’s first major survey show, bringing together thirty-three works from across his career.
Wood currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.
Artist Jonas Wood talks about life and art