George Condo | Mental States

Pintor estadounidense contemporáneo conocido por su firma de figuración con retratos fracturados, líneas en negrita e imágenes agresivas. Condo a menudo recontextualiza pinturas de los antiguos maestros, mezclando imágenes y técnicas con la estética moderna que Pablo Pablo Picasso y Willem de Kooning. “Yo describo lo que hago como cubismo psicológico”, ha explicado el artista sobre sus pinturas, esculturas, dibujos y grabados.


Nacido en 1957, el Concord, nativo de New Hampshire, se trasladó a Nueva York a por consejo de su amigo el pintor Jean-Michel Basquiat a finales de los años setenta. Las primeras exposiciones públicas de Condo se llevaron a cabo en las galerías de East Village entre 1981 y 1983, y después de un breve período trabajando en la Factory de Andy Warhol, Condo se mudó a París en 1985 durante 10 años antes de regresar a Nueva York. Su influencia se puede ver en el trabajo de una gama de pintores contemporáneos que incluye a Juan Currin, Glenn Brown, y Lisa Yuskavage.


Condo vive y trabaja actualmente en Nueva York y está presente en colecciones de museos de todo el mundo. Su exposición retrospectiva en 2011 “Estados mentales”  trajo de nuevo la atención a su trabajo, y en 2016 un nuevo récord se estableció cuando el retrato “Blue Diagonal Head” se vendió por 1,9 millones de dólares en una subasta.

ENG: The patented Condo formula—a mash-up of cartoony figuration, Old Master technique and High Modernist tropes—is an acquired taste, which may account for the peculiar trajectory of his career: hugely successful with certain collectors yet somehow remaining in the background—until recently, that is, since he did an album cover for Kanye West. Even so, he never achieved the iconic status of contemporaries Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat—artists who, like him, effectively pandered to popular taste at a time when the idea was far more of a no-no than it is today. Still, his work has served as the template for such artists as John Currin and Lisa Yuskavage.


When he arrived in New York from his native New England in 1981, though, the postmodern wave was about to break. Appropriation art was still in the air, and Neo-Expressionism was all the rage, but he didn’t fit into either category. Pop culture references seemed to rattle around in his work, though not explicitly; he certainly didn’t go on about the death of the author or any other such issues attached to appropriationist aesthetics. And though he was there for the start of the ’80s painting revival, his work never took itself as seriously as, say, that of Julian Schnabel. (But then, whose work did?) Until now, I’d pretty much dismissed Condo as typifying the cultural emptiness of the Reagan era, but this retrospective reveals something else: an artist who uses humor and formidable art-historical erudition to plumb the human condition.