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Interview: Jonas Wood on His New Monograph and Limited-Edition Print

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Los Angeles-based artists Jonas Wood has established himself as the reigning prince of contemporary painting, using playful geometrics and lush, vibrant color to excavate traces of memory, psychological charge, and domestic selfhood. New York Times critic Roberta Smith has observed that “his works negotiate an uneasy truce among the abstract, the representational, the photographic and the just plain weird,” a fun, indulgent intersection where explosive patterns and contemplative set pieces provide a veritable jungle gym for the viewer’s eye.

Wood, who is represented by Gagosian, takes a planar approach to everyday interiors, teasing out the off-kilter moments endemic to otherwise comfortable mundanity. His aesthetic updates the affectual mathematics of Matisse and the spatial story-telling of Heidkamp with panache, but it’s his penchant for locating the emotional tug of home, real or imagined, that crackles at the core of each piece.
Wood’s ascent to art stardom has included a spate of critically acclaimed solo shows in the world’s most prestigious outlets, including a recent turn at the Dallas Museum of Art, and his work has been collected by the Guggenheim and Hammer Museums. Phaidon just released its first monograph for painter as part of its acclaimed Contemporary Artists series that will feature a panoply of paintings, drawings, and sources of artistic inspiration interspersed with contributions from the likes of curator and writer Helen Molesworth and Metropolitan Museum of Art curator Ian Alteveer. Also included is a conversation between Wood and fellow L.A.-based artist Mark Grotjahn.

To accompany the monograph, Wood has worked closely with Artspace to produce a limited-edition print, entitled Bball Studio, 2019, which comes inside a portfolio, complete with a silkscreened tote bag (no stranger to fashion, Wood has lent his designs to Louis Vuitton in the past), and a hardcover copy of the monograph. The etching, which was printed in-house by Jonas Wood’s studio, comes from a small run of 200, and is available exclusively through Artspace.

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