George Condo - Contemporary Art London Thursday, June 21, 2007 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Sandra Gering Gallery, New York

  • Exhibited

    Zurich, Galerie Bruno Bischofberger, George Condo: New Works, September 25 – October 23, 1999

  • Catalogue Essay

    Condo’s work over the last 20 years has never failed to fascinate both art audiences and artist alike. From his early Clown Paintings to his stylistic rethinking of past masters such as Bosch and Picasso, Rembrandt and Matisse, he heralds a hybridization of art in the service of what he calls a “new artificial realism”. For Condo believes that the reality is into which we are born is nothing but a mirage of the mind where the actuality of life has become merged with the fantasy of living. Half paintings, half cartoons, they reflect a fusion of the interior with the exterior self in a manner that spills out and seeps into the fabric of our everyday lives. Studying Condo’s work of the last few years, one discovers that embedded in their consciousness is indeed a re evaluation of the schizophrenic culture that surrounds us. With their goofy heads and bizarre facial expressions, they appear to occupy both the space of our modern world but also an interior space, which Aldous Huxley has referred to as the “antipodes of the mind”. “To be a realist in an artificial world is by default to be a product of the artificial,” George declares in an interview. Gazing around the studio and the cartoon element of his aesthetics becomes clear. His pieces formulate an insane fusion of cartoons and painting that become a hybrid of both art and animation. “I love animated cartoons, especially the work of Tex Avery. I love seeing Bugs Bunny stretch out his arms all the way over the desert just to grab a carrot. I want to capture that feeling in my own painting,” he says.
    Looking at this body of work it is immediately apparent that they have a certain dreamlike quality attached to them that creates a unique psychological space. Populated by a host of different yet indefinable characters, Condo fashions an alternate universe from his imagination which is both alien and familiar.

  • 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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Silkscreen on canvas.
62 x 80 in. (157.5 x 203.2 cm).

£50,000 - 70,000 

Sold for £78,000

Contemporary Art

22 June 2007, 4pm & 5pm