George Condo - 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Evening Sale Hong Kong Saturday, November 25, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Galerie Andrea Caratsch, Zurich
    Christie's, London, 15 October 2011, Lot 256
    Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

  • Literature

    Grace Coddington ed., “Masterpiece Theater”, in Vogue, December 2007, p. 375 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Young Girl with Blue Dress was painted in 2007 and showcases one of George Condo’s unmistakable muses. With her face constructed from a mysterious, colourful agglomeration of forms stacked one atop the other, with one eye goggling and the teeth of her upper mouth displaced in a crazed rictus grin, this picture is filled with the unique energy that informs Condo’s greatest paintings. In Young Girl with Blue Dress, Condo has used Old Master techniques and subject matter to create an image that is at once timeless and contemporary.

    Condo’s artistic career began in Boston, but he soon moved to New York, becoming friends with young contemporaries such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, while also briefly working in Andy Warhol’s studio. Already fascinated by the pictures of the Old Masters, Condo took a very different path from his New York-based friends and instead moved to Paris for a number of years. Condo gained his incredibly wide visual erudition, by his immersion in European culture, evident in Young Girl with Blue Dress, which has echoes of folk art and old portraits, while also referencing—and mocking—Pablo Picasso’s Cubism in the forms of the face and the faceted upper torso. The stylised elements of this painting are further thrust into relief by the contrast with some of the hair, which is shown almost naturalistically, unlike that on the very top of the subject’s head, which looks like corrugated vinyl pipe, reminiscent of one of Picasso’s peers, Fernand Léger’s pictures.

    Condo has described his depictions of grinning, demented, delirious subjects as ‘psychological cubism’, often featuring an expression that ‘goes between a scream and a smile,’ as is the case in Young Girl with Blue Dress. Condo has explained that this ‘reflects simultaneous emotions or conversations with the conflicting voices in your head’ (Condo, quoted in Ossian Ward, ‘George Condo: Interview’, Time Out, 6 February 2007, reproduced at In Young Girl with Blue Dress, Condo pushes his viewer’s expectations to bold extremes by tapping into the canon of female portraiture in this picture and gleefully undermining it. Notions of female beauty have been blown out of the water, replaced instead by an image that is arresting, humorous, angst-ridden and irreverent.
    Condo has managed to take the pulsing energy, insight and iconoclasm of his friends Haring and Basquiat and channel it through an image painted in traditional oils on canvas, breathing new life and relevance into an old medium.

  • Artist Biography

    George Condo

    American • 1957

    Picasso once said, "Good artists borrow, great artists steal." Indeed, American artist George Condo frequently cites Picasso as an explicit source in his contemporary cubist compositions and joyous use of paint. Condo is known for neo-Modernist compositions staked in wit and the grotesque, which draw the eye into a highly imaginary world. 

    Condo came up in the New York art world at a time when art favored brazen innuendo and shock. Student to Warhol, best friend to Basquiat and collaborator with William S. Burroughs, Condo tracked a different path. He was drawn to the endless inquiries posed by the aesthetics and formal considerations of Caravaggio, Rembrandt and the Old Masters.

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Property of an Important Asian Collector


Young Girl with Blue Dress

signed and dated 'Condo 07' on the reverse
oil on canvas
127 x 106.5 cm. (50 x 41 7/8 in.)
Painted in 2007.

HK$3,000,000 - 5,000,000 

Sold for HK$12,100,000

Contact Specialist
Jonathan Crockett
Deputy Chairman, Asia and Head of 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Asia
+852 2318 2023

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+852 2318 2025

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20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Evening Sale

Hong Kong Auction 26 November 2017