With his arresting, unsettling style, George Condo emerged out of the dynamism of the New York art scene in the early 1980s, and he has been restlessly painting, drawing and sculpting – bringing forms into the world in one way or another – ever since. Condo’s originality lies in his transformation of references and inspirations, in both style and content, which include the canon of Western art history; from his journey through Greek classical sculpture to an unlimited and free exchange of painterly languages ranging from Rembrandt and Velasquez to Picasso and Warhol, and a unique vision of literary and popular culture.
With his ‘fake’ Old Masters, reconfigured Manets, impossibly intricate paintings that seem abstract only from a distance, fractured and multifaceted ‘psychologically Cubist’ portraits, and the orgiastic misdemeanours of a host of butlers, bankers and priests, Condo has invented, mastered and expanded not just one painterly language but an entire lexicon.
Working closely with Condo, Simon Baker has combined biographical, chronological and thematic approaches to survey the artist’s work and career to date. An introductory essay on Condo’s contradictory nature and a chapter exploring his phenomenal early career are followed by three thematic chapters that look at the years from 1984 to the present, tracing Condo’s systematic reconstruction of the techniques of painting, exploring his relationship to the concept of abstraction, and probing the darker side of his psychological iconography in drawing, painting, sculpture and writing.
George Condo is the definitive monograph on this unique artist. It will appeal to artists, art students and those with a general interest in art.