About the Artist
Early Life and Education
Jonas Wood was born in Boston in 1977. His father was an architect, his mother was head of the theater department at the progressive Cambridge School of Weston high school, which Wood attended.
Wood’s grandfather was a pediatrician who made a small fortune post-war, buying and selling fine art, including a Francis Bacon painting that sold for a record auction price. He also collected contemporary art, which had a profound influence on Wood’s artistic sensibilities.
At Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York, Wood studied psychology, and planned on getting a PhD. He completed his psychology studies in his third year and spent his senior year studying painting. He received a BA in psychology in 1999 and went on to get his Masters of Fine Arts degree from the University of Washington in 2002.
Wood met and married ceramic artist Shio Kusaka, a fellow student at the University. The couple moved to Los Angeles after graduation.
In Los Angeles, Wood spent two years as a studio assistant for painter and gallery owner Laura Owens and another two years as assistant for sculptor Matt Johnson, while working on his own art.
In 2006, his work was shown at the Black Dragon Society gallery in Chinatown. The show was very successful and Wood was able to quit his job and focus on his work. The show also garnered him the attention of galleries in New York and Chicago and his career took off.
Many of Wood’s paintings, drawings and prints are based on photos that he collects, places he’s lived in and the works of Kusaka.
New York Times art critic, Roberta Smith, described Wood’s art as more than just unique, “More than ever his works negotiate an uneasy truce among the abstract, the representational, the photographic and the just plain weird.”
Jonas Wood and Shio Kusaka share a home and studio in Los Angeles. They have two children and a dog named Robot. The couple has exhibited their works together.
His painting, Japanese Garden 3, sold for a $4.9million at Christie’s in 2019.
Wood’s works can be found in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Centre Pompidou, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Fundación Jumex, the Hammer Museum, the Marciano Art Foundation, , the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Broad Foundation in Los Angeles.
Sam Cochran. Step Inside L.A. Art Star Jonas Wood’s Magical World. Architectural Digest. November 4, 2017.
Roberta Smith. Paintings by Jonas Wood. The New York Times. March 17, 2011.
Linda Yablonsky. The Insider/Jonas Wood. T Magazine/CultureThe New York Times. March 20, 2012.
Edmund Lee. Artist Shio Kusaka and Jonas Wood share similar creative interests. South China Morning Post. January 28, 2015.
Peter Davis. Jonas Wood and the Art of the Everyday. C Magazine. Summer, 2019.
Jennifer Samet. Beer with a Painter, LA Edition: Jonas Wood. Hyperallergic. September 12, 2015.