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Exhibition of graphite drawings by Brian Wood on view at Arts + Leisure
Wood is an originator of what is now called neo-Surrealism and neo-Symbolism.


NEW YORK, NY.- Arts + Leisure is presenting Brian Wood Drawings, an exhibition of graphite drawings by Brian Wood. Working across a variety of mediums, Wood’s practice is intimately attuned to the specificity of his materials. He draws with a richly varied array of expressive lines, marks, and tonal effects. The artist’s handling of line is central to his practice, in turn fluid and sharp, qualities that function as a lightning rod for inner emotional and psychological states.

Wood is an originator of what is now called neo-Surrealism and neo-Symbolism. His deep inquiry into psychology and spirit, reaching back to his earliest work in the 70’s, bridges and melds these identities. Wood’s drawings hover between reality and the subconscious, manifesting as impressions of otherworldly dreamscapes, yet appear refracted from the organic textures of our surroundings. In the artist’s own words, the works on display are “immersed in questions about consciousness and ontology, the mystery of intense images arising to awareness and being, and their complex relationship with and away from time.” Emphasizing the equivocal nature of their meaning, they have an interactive, Rorschach-like relationship with the viewer.

While Wood’s work is predominantly abstract, characterized by bio-morphic and other non-representational forms, they are interlaced with figurative, almost forensic glimpses of reality. These remnants, ranging from floral imagery to skulls and claws, take on an almost totemic presence, suggesting buried unconscious drives and deep psychological gestalts. In Chora, a bat is juxtaposed with images of a claw and spermlike forms, a fusion of psychosexual anxiety and metaphorical imagery that appears in Arrival and The Wait, amongst others.

The artist hones in on the allusive potential of floral imagery, examining aspects of their existence as organisms both beautiful and tragically fragile, as well as their predatory and carnivorous habits, as in Venus fly-traps and other tropical plants. These forms take on a threatening nature in Quicken, Plank, and Passage, wherein the bulbs of the plant take on menacing, jaw-like traits and sharply conflict with our presumed understanding of them as harmless and non-sentient.

Brian Wood is a painter working with multiple media in New York City and East Chatham, NY. His paintings, drawings, photographs, prints, films, and books are exhibited internationally and are held in many private and public collections. Wood is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC; the Ludwig Museum in Cologne; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Houston Museum of Fine Arts; the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, TX; the New York Public Library: the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; the Art Gallery of Hamilton, Ontario; the Davis Museum, Wellesley; the Tampa Museum of Art; Asheville Art Museum, NC; the Montreal Museum of Fine Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art in Montreal; The Canada Council Art Bank; Concordia Art Gallery, Montreal; the Museum of Modern Art in Prague; and many others.





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