George Condo - New Now Day Sale New York Sunday, February 28, 2016 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Pace Gallery, New York
    Acquired from the above by the present owner, 1988

  • Exhibited

    New York, Pace Gallery, George Condo: Paintings and Drawings, March 11 – April 2, 1988, no. 12 (illustrated)

  • Literature

    Roberta Smith, Condo Creates a Future With Layers of Nostalgia, New York Times, March 1988
    Holland Cotter, George Condo at Pace, Art in America, May 1988 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    "Expanding Color Painting is an extremely attractive mélange of motifs recalling those in Gorky's late paintings, and it even approximates the chromatic tonalities of The Betrothal II.”
    Holland Cotter, "George Condo at Pace," Art in America, May 1988

    As George Condo has cited “abstractions are pictures of the artist's mind” and the present lot, Expanding Color Painting, 1987 is an example of Condo’s most vivid imagination. Bulbous, natural forms rendered in primary reds, yellow, greens and blues seem to grow upward from the lower quadrant of the composition. Swirling like colorful ivy, crawling across the creamy background Condo has created an intricate pattern of delicate modular structures emerging at various stages of formation, slowly rising to the surface of the composition. A blend of historical references can be seen, from Gorky’s breakthrough series entitled Garden in Sochi to Joan Miró’s surrealist shapes, Condo places himself at the crux of New York’s 1980’s painterly revival.

    The philosopher Félix Guattari, who lived on the Rue de Condé in the same building as Condo in the 1980’s when Expanding Color Painting was executed describes “a very specific 'Condo effect,’” stating that Condo “sacrifices everything to this effect, particularly pictorial structure, which he systematically destroys, thus removing a protective guardrail, a frame of reference which might reassure the viewer, who is denied access to a stable set of meanings." Expanding Color Painting, 1987 lies at the heart of Condo’s practice, a dive into the depths of what the artist refers to as “psychological cubism.”

  • 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.

    View More Works

Property from a Private Collection, Chicago


Expanding Color Painting

oil on canvas
98 1/4 x 78 1/2 in. (249.6 x 199.4 cm)
Signed, inscribed and dated "the days of color Condo 87" on the reverse. Further signed "Condo" on the stretcher.

$150,000 - 200,000 

Sold for $149,000

Contact Specialist
Rebekah Bowling
Head of Sale
New York
+ 1 212 940 1250

New Now Day Sale

New York Auction 29 February 2016 11am