JONAS WOOD
CLIPPINGS
27 September 2013 - 4 January 2014

Jonas Wood is presenting ten new paintings titled “Clippings” because they are images of plant forms that have been literally clipped or borrowed from his other paintings.  The artist frequently paints domestic interiors that often feature a few small potted plants, quietly located in corners or on tables.  For this series, he has extracted the plants from previous works, eliminated their pots and context, and greatly enlarged their size.  As Wood explains:  “I’m presenting these forms in the same way that I would represent something like a pot on a table with a plant in it…. The table is gone and the floor plane is completely erased…. I am removing them from a painting and making them independent…. These plant paintings are exploring shape and repetition in the same way as Alexander Calder—through suspension in space…. The plant paintings are refined, simplified forms of just shape and color with only a touch of representation.”
 
For the Lever House installation, Wood has created a unique wallpaper depicting rows of Wilson, Spalding, and Molten basketballs, which cover all wall surfaces.  Like the plant forms, the basketball images were clipped from National Basketball Association (NBA) books and basketball cards, and the artist created independent drawings and paintings of them.  He has also made paintings of individual basketball players, tennis courts, poker games, family interiors, and local architecture—all subjects that he admires and participates in.  The repetitive, colorful, humorous, and masculine basketballs offer a foil to the darker, singular, and more feminine plants and blossoms.
 
Wood’s paintings recall those of a number of modern masters, especially the still-lifes and interiors by Vincent Van Gogh, Henri Matisse, Giorgio Morandi, Stuart Davis, Edward Hopper, and particularly Pablo Picasso’s Nude on a Black Armchair (1932) which is dominated by four large abstracted leaf-forms.  Wood also aligns with the aesthetics, conceptual approaches and subjects of Edward Ruscha and David Hockney.  All work in a deadpan and flat manner, using familiar subject matter.  Ruscha’s photographic books A Few Palm Trees (1971) and Colored People (1972) present disembodied and ungrounded palms and cacti.  Hockney created a series of Domestic Scenes (1963) that all contained potted plants and flowers, and his Man Taking a Shower (1964) features four large, disconnected leaf shapes in the foreground that seem to be borrowed directly from Matisse’s paper “cut-outs” of the 1950s.
 
Jonas Wood was born in Boston in 1977, and studied at Hobart and William Smith College, Geneva, New York (BA, 1999) and University of Washington, Seattle (MFA, 2002).  The artist lives and works in Los Angeles.  His work has been exhibited at the Hammer Museum, University of California, Los Angeles; Saatchi Gallery, London; David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles; and Anton Kern Gallery, New York; and is included in the collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
 
RICHARD D. MARSHALL, Curator
 
JONAS WOOD
 
All paintings are oil and acrylic on canvas, and all completed in 2013:
 
Clipping A3 (Red and Yellow Orchid)
118 x 93 inches
 
Clipping B1 (Philodendron)
100 x 93 inches
 
Clipping B3 (Succulent)
100 x 87 inches
 
Clipping B4 (Pink Bromeliad)
100 x 93 inches
 
Clipping B5 (Cactus)
115 x 110 inches
 
Clipping C1  (Tropical Stem)
120 x 48 inches
 
Clipping D2 (Blue Orchid)
93 x 100 inches
 
Clipping D3 (Pink Geranium)
87 x 100 inches
 
Clipping E1 (Yellow Orchid)
114 x 76 inches
 
Clipping E2 (Red Orchid)
102 x 63 inches
 
LEVER HOUSE ART COLLECTION, NEW YORK