George Condo - Contemporary Art Part I New York Wednesday, May 13, 2009 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Xavier Hufkens, Brussels

  • Exhibited

    Brussels, Xavier Hufkens, George Condo: Existential Portraits, June 26 – March 4, 2006

  • Literature

    G. Condo, ed., George Condo: Existential Portraits, Berlin, 2006, p. 85 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    "Known for his rich and varied body of work, George Condo deepened his exploration into the psychology of the portrait in the present lot, part of the Existential Portraits series. The theatrical and comic Large Reclining Smoker, 2005 embodies the contradictions of this series, being both aggressive and luscious. The figure in the painting is terrifying, yet still seems exposed and perhaps even vulnerable. Speaking of this group of work, George Condo said: “I wanted to capture the characters in these paintings at the extreme height of whatever moment they’re in—in that static moment of chaos, and to picture them as abstract compositions that are set in destitute places and isolated rooms. Everything takes place in a relatively impoverished kind of situation. In that sense I thought a little about Hopper capturing the despair of loneliness. Hopper always uses a surprising color here and there in his painting and the sorrow is suspended with a touch of light," (Luhring Augustine, ed., George Condo: Existential Portraits, Berlin, 2006, p. 8).

  • 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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Large Reclining Smoker

Oil on canvas.
65 x 60 in. (165.1 x 152.4 cm).

Signed and dated “Condo 05” upper left; signed, titled, and dated “Condo 05 Large Reclining Smoker” on the reverse.

$150,000 - 200,000 

Sold for $194,500

Contemporary Art Part I

14 May 2009, 7pm
New York