Shio Kusaka (BFA 2001) and Jonas Wood (MFA 2002) met while both were students in the School of Art + Art History + Design. Kusaka studied ceramics, and Wood focused on painting. After graduation, they moved to Los Angeles and started establishing themselves in the art world there. In the last several years, separately and together, their stars have been rising dramatically.
Both Wood and Kusaka began their careers while assisting other artists until 2006, when Wood had his first solo exhibition at the Black Dragon Society in Los Angeles. Shortly after, Anton Kern Gallery in New York and Shane Campbell Gallery in Chicago picked him up for solo shows, and Wood and Kusaka were able to quit their day jobs to focus on their practices. Wood is now represented by Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago; Gagosian Gallery, London; Anton Kern Gallery, New York; and David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles.
Kusaka first began showing her work at Anton Kern Gallery in 2008. She then had solo shows at Shane Campbell Gallery in 2009 and Anton Kern Gallery in 2010. As well, Kusaka was featured in the 2014 Whitney Biennial. Kusaka is now represented by Blum and Poe, Los Angeles; Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago; greengrassi, London; Anton Kern Gallery, New York; and The Modern Institute, Glasgow.
Both artists have been in solo and group exhibitions internationally, and they are featured widely in the press. In January of 2015, Wood and Kusaka opened a joint show at Gagosian Gallery in Hong Kong. While they have shown together previously, this is the first exhibition to directly focus on the connection between their work.
“Artist Shio Kusaka and Jonas Wood share similar creative interests,” South China Morning Post, 1/28/15
“Jonas Wood and Shio Kusaka: Each Other’s Artistic Muses,” Wall Street Journal, 1/23/15
“Artist Shio Kusaka’s Mesmerizing Ceramic Pottery,” Architectural Digest, 4/14
Image credits (all courtesy of the artists)
upper: Shio Kusaka and Jonas Wood posing as superheroes, Gagosian Gallery, Hong Kong, 2015
middle: Jonas Wood, Akio Takamori, 2014, oil and acrylic on linen, 42 x 36 inches
lower: Shio Kusaka, (dinosaur 15), 2014, stoneware, 25 1/4 x 14 3/4 x 14 3/4 inches