Hello! I can't believe it's March (and well into it) that I'm adding the first Art Library post of 2016. I admit I shot the photos about a month ago now, but you know how it goes.
It's a rainy day here in Seattle, so let's look at these cozy, lived-in interiors of one of our favorite books—Jonas Wood: Interiors by Anton Kern Gallery in conjunction with Wood's 2013 show. Wood's large-scale paintings of stitch together multiple views of his interior spaces, which are filled with his talented wife Shiho Kusaka's patterned ceramic pots and urns, as well as plants, cats, visitors, bird cages, babies, Keith Haring shower curtains, art, hairbrushes, kilim rugs, bookshelves, African masks, stuffed animals, and more vibrant artifacts of Wood's life.
In the Interiors essay, "Rooms," Michael Ned Holte explains the wide-angle-lens-like effect of many of Wood's works—the bathroom scenes in particular are distorted, flattened, nearly a bird's-eye perspective, which is the result of the translation of photographic data, sometimes from multiple images stitched/collaged together in the process of reinterpretation in oil, gouache, or pencil.
It is a process that Holte describes as a "negotiation," by which the artist chooses what aspects of the scene to heighten, distort, emphasize, or reinterpret. "Abstracted," but, Holte writes, still read within Wood's own system of representation.
Holte goes on to write what you may have already been thinking, that "Matisse's masterpiece The Red Studio, 1911, is a significant ancestor to Jonas's interiors."
"Yes, these interiors exist, or once existed," Holte concludes, "in life and in photographs, but they persist as paintings, evoking a sutured space of history and memory."
Thanks for reading!
Source: Wood, Jonas. Interiors. Brooklyn, NY: Picture Box, 2012.