A major exhibition by painter Jonas Wood is at the DMA through July 14, on view at its Hoffman Galleries.
It's a large show, with mainly oversized paintings that that convey and inspire intimacy between the artist and his subjects, and then the audience and the exhibited work.
“It’s charged in that way – in that it’s close to me. Intimacy is the picture plane, the history of painting, the viewer who is seeing something they’ve never seen before.” - Jonas Wood via Arts and Culture Texas.
We usually take at least two circuits through an exhibition, one to document in photographs for this platform, and additional passes to just take it all in. This exhibition instantly felt exciting and new, and we stayed with the paintings for a while, finding a new detail or artistic element to focus on with each experience. We first noticed the interesting color combinations and patterns (including circles, stripes, wood grain and even tennis balls) that Wood chose, then the subject matter he captured, then the juxtaposition of how he put it all put together.
Wood has said he paints from photographs, and that comes through in his style, which is flat and geometric, almost giving it a collage or paper cut effect. Each shape is distinct, as are the pattern-on-pattern elements that are a uniting feature in all of the exhibited works. While in some ways his work reminded me of other artists I've seen recently, it would be easily recognizable to me after seeing it once.
This is Wood's first major exhibition - approximately 30 pieces in all - and we are lucky that Dallas is where that milestone took place. His star is rising (he occupies a top spot among his generational and genre peers on ArtNet's Intelligence Report and sold work worth millions in 2018.) When we visited, there were people of all ages and walks of life in the gallery, from older people to children in paper bunny ears (it was the museum's family day!) While each visitor's experience is always unique and special to them, everyone seemed to be genuinely into the work, which is not always the case. Amazingly, the show is free to the public, and I highly recommend that you go check it out. Odds are, you'll be into it too.