George Condo - Contemporary Art London Friday, October 13, 2006 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist

  • Catalogue Essay

    In 1996 George Condo began a new series of “antipodular” portraits, breaking from his previous styles. These portraits, combining the history of traditional portraiture with freakishly human characteristics, both attract and estrange the viewer. Condo’s sitters are a new species for us that challenge the mind psychologically— we are led to explore what qualities are real and what qualities are distinctly different from our own. “The artist, after all, is only our surrogate. Those imaginary beings, it turns out, look a lot like us.” (R. Rugoff, The Imaginary Portraits of George Condo, New York, p. 15)

    “In melding styles and motifs from different eras of Art History, Condo’s portraits also evince a kind of temporal homelessness… pictures… reek of the past, yet at the same time they are undeniably contemporary. In straddling this threshold between the familiar and the novel, such works give us special privilege of approaching art from a position of uncertainty- from a place where our aesthetic maps and charts fool us, so that we have to revise and improvise the way we see, think and remember.” (ibid, p. 7)

  • 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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Untitled (Sir Alfred Chipmunk)

Oil on canvas.
79 1/2 x 79 1/2 in. (201.9 x 201.9 cm).

£50,000 - 70,000 

Sold for £72,000

Contemporary Art

14 Oct 2006, 7pm