Works on Paper by George Condo

Work on Paper by George Condo

Since the beginning of his career, drawings and works on paper have formed an important part of George Condo’s working practice.Condo tries to explore the relationship between the directness of drawing and the controlled methods of painting.He says, “My intention with this work was to explore the extreme possibilities of the ink on paper”.

Combining American Pop with traditional Old Master painting, George Condo coins the term “Artificial Realism” to describe his work. Condo’s work reflects on creating reality through an artificial lens. Though his work stems from traditional portraiture and genre painting, Condo incorporates contemporary pop culture imagery into his oeuvre.

Beginning with his clown paintings in the early 80’s, George Condo’s investigation into this genre reflected a highly unconventional approach to portraiture based upon imagination and memory as opposed to found or appropriated source material. The imaginary portrait became, through George Condo’s eyes, a springboard for the development of an entirely new language of portraiture.

George Condo was born in Concord, New Hampshire, in 1957 and studied Art History and Music Theory at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell. He has occupied a prominent position in the art world for close to three decades. Mr. Condo’s art can be viewed as a multi-layered experience incorporating art historical references ranging from European classicism to American contemporary culture, often combining elements of each to achieve a unique vision informed by all its sources. In his New Yorker profile on the artist, Calvin Tomkins observed that “instead of borrowing images or styles, [Condo] used the language of his predecessors, their methods and techniques, and applied them to subjects they would never have painted.” Speaking of Condo’s influence on the generations that have followed him, Laura Hoptman, curator in the Department of Painting and sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art stated, “George opened the door for artists to use the history of painting in a way that was not appropriation.”


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Untitled Work on Paper by George Condo
Untitled Work on Paper by George Condo