George Condo

20 October 2015

http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/display/george-condo

George Condo

This selection of work by the American artist George Condo demonstrates his extraordinary range, encompassing both abstraction and figuration.

‘The whole act of making art has nothing to do with the medium within which you work’, Condo has said. ‘You can paint, you can draw, write etc., but the act itself always remains the same.’ As well as painting and sculpture, he has produced numerous drawings, both as preparatory studies and as works in their own right. Condo’s range of references and influences is highly eclectic, from Goya and Velásquez to Picasso and Pop. He refuses to limit himself to one signature style, although many elements of his practice echo one another, and he has a cast of repeated and recognisable characters.

Throughout his career, Condo has made both figurative and abstract work, exploring the complex ways in which the two approaches overlap. ‘When we abstract in imagistic terms from a recognisable form – let’s say a face – to an impression of a face, we can still recall the face somewhere within this abstraction’, he has said. ‘But when we represent to the best of our ability the reverse – which is to turn an abstraction back into a recognisable form – that form is the language of abstraction as it relates to painting…’

His painting Mental States 2000 is exemplary of Condo’s free, improvised approach, blending figuration and abstraction within the same network of expressive brushstrokes. It reveals Condo’s commitment to what he calls ‘psychological cubism’ – the way in which different aspects of identity, psychology and emotion can co-exist in a single, complex image.

George Condo was born in 1957 in Concord, New Hampshire. He lives and works in New York City.

 

Female Portrait 2009

 

Batman and Playboy Bunny 2005

 

The Butcher’s Remorse 2009

 

Dispersed Figures and Lines 1996

 

Casino Sketch 2005

 

L’Amour 2003

 

The Young Executive 2003

 

See further notes on this artist under Exhibition Visits.

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