George Condo - Contemporary Art Day Sale London Thursday, February 12, 2015 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Private Collection

  • Catalogue Essay

    Considered to be one of the most influential living artists, George Condo is credited with bolstering the medium of painting in the mid-1980s. Condo’s signature style is something he calls 'artificial realism,' which he describes as ‘the realistic representation of that which is artificial.’ Incorporating multiple layers of contemporary and art historical references, Condo creates images by applying classical techniques to contemporary subjects and themes of everyday life.

    Humorously warped, Condo’s ‘imaginary portraits’ depict two or three sides of the sitter’s personality at the same time, in a style he refers to as ‘psychological cubism.’ Utilising the modern language of Picasso and Braque, Condo is interested in portraying multi-dimensional characters such as the one in the present lot. Smiling Young Woman is not the type of person ‘you want to spend a lot of time staring at,’ but her animalistic features are painted with such meticulous care that her grotesqueness is made endearing and captivating.

  • 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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Smiling Young Woman

oil on canvas
101.5 x 91.5 cm (39 7/8 x 36 in.)
Signed and dated 'Condo 08' upper left and again on the reverse.

£120,000 - 180,000 

Sold for £110,500

Contact Specialist
Henry Highley
Head of Sale
+ 44 20 7318 4061

Contemporary Art Day Sale

London Auction 13 February 2015 2pm