Jonas Wood’s fourth solo show at Anton Kern Gallery presents a collection of paintings that transform everyday spaces, subjects, and artifacts from his daily life into novel encounters. These energetic new works expose a complex interweaving of personally charged subject matter and locales that imbue the paintings with emotional depth and evoke a bewildering sense of familiarity and awe. Still lifes of still lifes, portraits of friends, a facade surrounded by dense foliage, former pets, a tennis arena, a scene from a poker tournament and various artworks all emerge and dissemble, as though by camouflage, into the paintings’ vivid color planes and mosaic-like forms.
Wood uses techniques of layering and transposition to assemble scenarios that reveal intricately manipulated narratives that hover between genres and artistic styles. Blurring boundaries of figuration and abstraction, his works re-animate domestic spaces through off-kilter perspectives and instill an exotic air into their autobiographical tones.
Working almost exclusively from sketches of photographs and life studies, or collaged mock-ups of the two, Wood’s process intentionally moves through several mediums, each of which subtly alters its previous form before committing the composition to canvas. For several of these paintings, Wood created etchings, produced by Jacob Samuel Editions, of his preparatory drawings, adding yet another level of translation to his already semiotic-skewing approach.
Wood’s paintings celebrate a mastery of incongruity and the re-organization of representation and memory. Wood not only puts our visual world out of its order, he rearranges the temporal and psychological landscapes in such a way that the paintings themselves conjure a logic and spatial continuity of their own.