A very strong exhibition currently on view at the New Museum in New York City surveys more than thirty years of work by George Condo.
Since arriving in New York City in 1980, George Condo has spanked the contemporary art world with his unique aesthetic and massively imaginative interpretations. This American artist was a key voice in the historic East Village scene and ran with superstars Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, both very close friends.
Riffing on previous techniques, styles and methods of painting, Condo tore through art history, raping and pillaging earlier movements and art forms. From Romanticism to Cubism to the Looney Tunes, Condo plowed through the various canons of visual culture, stealing elements from each but making them thoroughly his own in unique compositions.
Many of Condo’s works are portraits, a number of which have been appropriated into wider Pop culture. A recent example is the series of portraits he painted for Kanye West’s recent album, Runaway. Evoking disturbed and layered mental states, Condo has said his works “reflect the madness of everyday life.”
In a thorough survey of this prolific artist’s output of the past thirty years, “George Condo: Mental States” is divided into four sections, each of which examines a particular theme or genre central to his work. The exhibition reveals his “tragicomic vision” through a variety of dystopic, humorous, empathetic, and critical paintings and sculptures.
This exhibition will begin at the New Museum in New York and then travel to Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (June 25–September 25, 2011), Hayward Gallery in London (October 18, 2011–January 15, 2012) and then to Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt (February 23–May 28, 2012).
By Randy Gladman for The Ministry of Artistic Affairs.