Untitled Work on Paper by George Condo

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.

 

Medium

Charcoal on paper

Size

28×20

Signed

Yes

Created

1996

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 Condo’s art can be viewed as a multi-layered experience incorporating art historical references ranging from European classicism to American contemporary culture, often combining elements of each to achieve a unique vision informed by all its sources.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.”

His work is in the permanent collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Judith Rothschild Foundation, Philadelphia, The Broad Art Foundation, Santa Monica,Tate Gallery, London, Fonds National d’Art Contemporain, Ministère de la Culture, Paris, Fonds Regional d’Art Contemporain, Ile de France, Paris, Dakis Joannou Collection Foundation, Athens, Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Olso, Museu d’Art Contemporani, Barcelona, and the Doron Sebbag Art Collection, ORS Ltd., Tel Aviv.

 

 
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