There are two contemporary artists named Brian Wood (maybe more), whose work could not be more different. And while this blog regularly covers comic book illustrators, the Brian Wood of interest here is the abstract painter, currently living and working in NYC.

He is originally from Saskatchewan and claims his childhood amidst the harsh weather of Canada’s central province laid groundwork for Wood’s interest in life cycles, both animal and vegetative.

In the past, Wood has shown at the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim, and the Whitney. Next week he’ll take part in a group show titled “Polysolaris” at the Geoffrey Young Gallery in Barrington, MA. (Sarah Walker also takes part.) What to expect?

Biomorphic forms, rendered in loose, imaginative brushstrokes. An obsession with the body and with regeneration gives Wood’s constructs their distinct anatomical language. Bones and fossil-like shapes blend into hairy orifices, which mutate into other internal organs or deep sea creatures. It sounds Dali-esque, but it isn’t. The closest reference I can think of is ’60s L.A. abstractionist John Altoon. Yet where Altoon’s mature work was dark, sexual, dreamy, and violent, Wood’s is less troubled.

For this artist, nature went one way; it could have gone another. It may yet still. (Brian Chidester)

Brian Wood 01

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