George Condo is among the most influential and provocative contemporary American artists on the international scene today.
This rare view of Condo’s works in Los Angeles re veals an intimateand for many a surprising aspect of Condo’s work, displaying a more distilled aesthetic, rooted through great draftsmanship and line. Condo is typically known for bold paintings so brash as to be referred to as Gonzo Artificial Reali sm. “Artificial Realism” is the term the artist uses to describe his works, which by turns are meditative, wry, irreverent and fantastical, reflecting Condo’s nowiconic surrealistic mashup of old and modern masters.
In this exhibition, Condo merges, thr ough a series of works entitled “More Sketches of Spainfor Miles Davis,” his admiration of Spanish masters along with his profound admiration for the music of Miles Davis, whose own jazz masterpiece album recording was entitled “Sketches of Spain.” In these works from 1991 etching and aquatint– largescale sheets and smaller works on paper executed in Condo employs an eloquent Picassolike line with masterful draftsmanship and bravura, giving sly references to Picasso, Dali, Velázquez, etc. Miles Dav is has also long been a source of inspiration in Condo’s works. One such example is Condo’s major painting in the Eli Broad collection entitled “Dancing to Miles” exhibited at the 1987 Whitney Biennial.
Also included here is an important early painting on canvas that was part of Condo’s first solo exhibition, which was presented in Los Angeles from 198 3, at the Ulrike Kantor Gallery and followed in quick succession by two shows in New York City that year, which catapulted Condo’s career on the national sce ne.Born in 1957, George Condo had early associations with other avant such as Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and JeanMichel Basquiat, as well as many of the avant garde artists in Europe. His engagements with literary figures s garde artists of the eighties,uch as Allen Ginsberg are notable, as well as his collaborations with writers William Burroughs and David Means. Condo’s continued interest in music is underscored in varied ways, and took a provocative turn when he collaborated with rap star Kanye West, w ho commissioned Condo to create his “banned” cover for the recent charttopping album “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”.
His impact on popular culture has even extended to the realms of the world of fashion, as designer Adam Kimmel sourced Condo’s life and artwork as inspiration for his fall/winter 2010 mensware collection. Condo’s impact upon artists of the last decade is particularly profound, as evidenced by his being the major influence of such significant contemporary painters as John Currin, Cecil y Brown, Lisa Yuskavage, etc.
“George Condo: a collection of etchings” follows the recent retrospective exhibition, George Condo Mental States at New York’s New Museum, labeled “sensational” by The New York Times art critic Holland Cotter. That major exhibition, organized by the Hayward Gallery, will travel to Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (June 25 Hayward Gallery, London (October 18, 2011–– September 25, 2011); January 15, 2012); and Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt (February 23 IMay 28, 2012).
In recent months, Condo has been featured in Art in America, Artnews, Art Forum, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Washington Post, New Yorker Magazine, Wall Street Journal virtually every major international art publication and news journal.