George Condo - Contemporary Art Evening London Thursday, February 11, 2010 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist

  • Exhibited

    Paris, Foundation Dina Vierny – Musée Maillol, George Condo: The Lost Civilization, April 17– August 17, 2009

  • Catalogue Essay

    “George Condo makes frequent reference to the works of Velazquez and Manet, but also to Greuze and Fragonard, Delacroix and Goya, and repeatedly to Picasso. What interests him are how paintings function, how illusions are created, and how stories are told. Yet however important this reference to tradition is, it does not determine the primary appearance of his works. Attention is what Condo’s figures initially demand, located as they are between the grotesque and the comic, protagonists caught between comedy and tragedy. Only on closer observation does the degree emerge to which his way of painting, his composition and his concept of the figure govern the actual attraction of his paintings, and how complex and independent is his engagement with a very personal tradition. Nothing could be further from Condo’s mind than being an epigon – rather his work absorbs the other.
    “The main point is not the reference to the tradition, but his own pictorial invention, into which he playfully integrates what he has seen and learnt, all the while testing and questioning this as to its suitability. The deliberately used breaks bear witness to a critical distance to what he has adapted, as well as to his own artistic practice: whereby neither his concept of motif nor his style, nor his technique indicate continuity. The resulting disparity underscores the hallucinatory force of what is depicted. Condo paints pictures that exhaust the whole spectrum of an illusionist, figurative and narrative idiom, and at the same time address the issue of the painting as an artificial construct, above and beyond reality.”
    (M. Brehm, ‘Tradition as Temptation. An Approach to the ‘George Condo Method’,’ in T. Kellein, ed., George Condo: One Hundred Women, exhibition catalogue, Salzburg, Museum der Moderne, 2005, pp. 19–20).

  • 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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Father and Son

Oil on linen.
203.2 x 203.2 cm. (80 x 80 in).

£250,000 - 350,000 

Sold for £541,250

Contemporary Art Evening

12 Feb 2010