Jo Wood-Brown is a painter and multimedia artist living and working in Lower Manhattan since 1980. She has formed her practice alongside and continues to collaborate with other artists across disciplinary lines. Her imagery that moves from the canvas, to photography and video, to installation and sculpture coalescing many points of view around her subject. Exploring cycles of work poetically and archetypally, her creative output is like a living organism that adapts and shifts across time, culture, and collaboration.
With a painter’s sense of eternal time, her forms detach from familiar notions of figure-ground to allow for the interweaving of historical and environmental motifs. Wood-Brown’s work, spiritually and collectively, supports the role of art in culture and the creative expansion of ideas within and beyond community.
What is your approach to creativity?
Drawing, along with painting, are my main mediums, however my work moves through time and space, weaving across cultures in its forms.
If we view a pyramid, the facets of my work comprise 4 sides: drawing/painting, photography/video, sculpture/installation and collaboration. Although the work resolves in these separate categories, the individual elements dislodge only to appear in new situations, new medium, and new realities.
When I begin a work on paper, I do not know where it will take me; the way I approach drawing is the freest form of my expression. This process is an improvisation that responds to this specific moment in time.
More About Jo
Jo Wood-Brown, raised in Los Angeles, received her BFA at Otis Art Institute where she was taught by Charles White. In 1976, she moved to NYC, continuing her education at Lester Polakov Studio and Forum of Stage Design. Her formative years in New York City were shaped by process artists and the site-specific concepts around PS1 and influenced by her friendships working at the The Kitchen among artists seminal to the multi-arts genre. In the 1980’s, she was part of the East Village and later Soho gallery scenes, exhibiting her paintings and installations at International With Monument and Lisa MacDonald Gallery and participating in the rogue Pier 34 installations. For the last 25 years, Wood-Brown has worked closely with Arts for Art, an avant-garde jazz based multi-arts non-profit in NYC, creating works in its annual Vision Festival, notably with musicians William Parker and Rob Brown; poet Fred Moten; choreographers Patricia Nicholson, Miriam Parker, Nancy Zendora and Sally Silvers, to name a few. In addition, her art has been impacted by artists from the ancient cultures of the Middle East and Egypt; for many years Wood-Brown drew artifacts for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. After 9/11, she founded Artist Exchange International to promote a dialog between artists in different countries around situations of trauma. Exhibitions and panels were held in Belfast, Northern Ireland; Wuppertal and Berlin, Germany and in NYC. She exhibited with Paul Sharpe Gallery in Chelsea and developed InnerCity Projects interdisciplinary environments with Miriam Parker. Most recently, Parker and Wood-Brown created “Lost Voyage” an installation of evolving performances by a collective of diverse women artists that included rebeca medina, Jean Carla Rodea, Merche Blasco, Asiya Wadud, and Tiffany Moore, in residency at FiveMyles gallery, Brooklyn.
Jo's Sponsored Cause:
Friends of the Earth
See Asocha's Sponsored Causes for an overview of the Friends of the Earth.
Browse Jo's Collection.