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Art January, 26 2011

“George Condo: Mental States”

If you didn’t know George Condo before 2010, Kanye West made damn sure the artist was on your radar. Opening today at New Museum, George Condo: Mental States is a conceptual survey of the iconic artists work – from when he burst onto the New York scene in the 1980s through to today. Broken into 4 themes – and opening with a magnificent salon style hanging of portrait – Mental States highlights significant moments in Condo’s career and the formulation of his artificial realism. Emphasis is placed on strategy and portraiture, and within the mix of paintings there is also a selection of Condo’s sculpture.

George Condo: Mental States runs to May 8, 2011. The exhibition is the first major US survey of Condo’s career.

Above: George Condo, Female Figure Composition, 2009. Acrylic, pastel, and charcoal on linen, 78 x 108 in (198.2 x 274.3 cm). Private collection. © George Condo 2010

A selection of works from Mental States, and the official press release, follows.

George Condo, The Alcoholic, 2002. Gilded bronze, 14 1⁄4 x 10 5/8 x 8 in (36 x 27 x 20.3 cm). Private collection. © George Condo 2010

George Condo, Uncle Joe, 2005. Oil on canvas, 53 x 46 in (134.6 x 116.8 cm). Private collection. Courtesy Simon Lee Gallery. © George Condo 2010

George Condo, The Insane Queen, 2006. Oil on canvas, 20 x 16 in (50.8 x 40.6 cm). Collection Per Skarstedt. © George Condo 2010

George Condo, Mary Magdalene, 2009. Oil on canvas, 27 x 26 in (68.6 x 66 cm). Collection Richard and Hazel Collins. © George Condo 2010

New Museum Presents First Major US Survey of Works by George Condo
From January 26–May 8, 2011

Since first bursting onto the scene in the early 1980s with his unique adaptation of the language of Old Master painting, George Condo has created one of the most adventurous, imaginative, and provocative bodies of work in contemporary art. Condo’s work has been deeply influential to two generations of American and European painters, who have felt the impact of the artist’s astonishing technical ability, stylistic versatility, and inventive subject matter. This January, the New Museum will present “George Condo: Mental States,” the first major US survey of over eighty paintings and sculptures from the past twenty-eight years of the artist’s career. Condo is famously prolific, and this tightly edited selection of works from 1982 to the present responds to his prodigious output with a unique conceptual approach. The exhibition is organized thematically and stylistically in “chapters” developed in close collaboration with the artist. Highlighting the breadth of Condo’s artistic exploration, the exhibition will focus on the specific ideas to which he has returned throughout his career, particularly his ongoing investigation of human physiognomy and its capacity to convey varied “mental states.”

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