George Condo


Painter said...

George Condo @
Luhring Augustine
531 West 24th Street,
New York, NY 10011
Tel: 1-212-206-9100

oilybrushes said...

every piece in this show was as comical as it was disturbing. this work in particular allowed me to feel how close comedy can be to horror at times.
The faces seemed architectural to me, faces as frank gehry architectural studies.
very effective paint handling too.

no-where-man said...

Condo Painting
N.Y. Times Review by A. O. Scott
In this documentary, director John McNaughton, famous (or infamous) for Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1990), draws an intimate portrait of the painter George Condo, a friend of William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg. Born in 1957, Condo has been called the high priest of "artificial realism," which he defines as a "realistic representation of something that's artificial." The film also shows Condo at work in his Manhattan studio; it was shot with a High-8 (non-digital) home video camera which gave McNaughton the freedom of movement to capture close-ups of brush movements and other minute details. It was later transferred to 35mm. There is also footage of Burroughs and Ginsberg in Condo's studio shortly before they both died. Condo Painting is quite different from McNaughton's other work, which stretches from science fiction and live theatre documentaries to such star-studded studio features as Mad Dog and Glory to TV series such as Homicide and the 1998 sex thriller, Wild Things. Condo Painting was screened as part of the Filmmakers of the Present section in the 1999 Locarno International Film Festival. ~ Gönül Dönmez-Colin, All Movie Guide

bluebalz said...

best show in new york now, gallery wise, the paintings are funny, but so much about beautiful painting and cubism, also so complex in their structures, great great show, kiddies pay attention to someone who is not making "faux" naive, or work technically sound but souless, these are really about painting and his love of it. a must see.

dubz said...

love it. liked the last show better, and not so crazy about the frames on these....a little trendy, right? but the paintings are always amazing.

sloth said...

It's always a pleasure to see a Condo show... he always delivers, and this one was no exception. Definitely a must-see show. My only reservation is about the way he deals with faces; there's a standard goofy clown/monster face with googly eyes that he uses over and over again; it works as a mask -- it means he doesn't really have to deal with painting an actual face. It also acts as a kind of punchline for the painting & pulls the rug out from under -- which is fine, and I'm sure what he intends, but for me the sameness from painting to painting is a little unsatisfying & distracting. That said, there were some real knockout paintings in this show; the guy is a real master.

bluebalz said...

do you know where one can get "Condo Painting" documentary, its not on Netflix.

JD said...

I am salivating to see this show. Strangeness, strangeness, strangeness, all with little painting moves. It's funny, I always WANT to love Yuskavage's paintings, but find them illustrative and tame, paint-wise, compared to these. In these, unforgettable painting moments carry the meaning more than anything else. Oh, his pearly teeth, all in a creepy row against that terrible purple! The stripe-y bits of his shirt, all triangular-like. The triangle of his lower jaw. MORE TEETH. He's like a blue-eyed naive dinosaur baby. He's not at all smart.


dubz said...

just a little criticism....for me there is something contrived about the little portraits in the hallway... perhaps too obviously zeroing in on the "idea" of portrait or caricature... that combined with the easel-sized canvases and old masterish frames feels beneath condo somehow. his paint handling is so incredible - the best - but for me the presentation of these feels too awkwardly faux-current. maybe i'm being too hard on him because he's one of my very favorite painters.

the drawings in the back....oh yeah.

Vlahos Boyiajees said...

Have to see this show. I like the jpegs on the gallery site. It's funny how they remind me of Dana Schultz. They also remind me of Picasso a lot as does a lot of his work. His sense of humor is very welcome in the art world. There is this psychological edge in his work that doesn't seem to rest. Just look at Symphony I, 2005.

VonZut said...

Strange and wonderful. I am conflicted with these paintings, I am drawn to their grotesqueness and lushious paint, the colour draws me in as well. While they do point directly to old master works(portraiture) Condo seems to create some interesting tensions between the static seriousness of the old works and the slap stick Mad magazine-esque comedic faces. I was somewhat dumbfounded by the choice of frames-kind of DIY home decorator, but upon further consideration I feel like these choices heighten the tensions of high art and kitsch. I don't know if this was a decision Condo made, but because of the tone of the paintings, this was the conclusion I chose to stick with.

dubz said...

It's the art/kitsch tension that I think is beneath him. Let them be kickass paintings without the irony. Just sayin.

James Wolanin said...

I like!

I've noticed that a lot of new art has an editorial illustration feel to it. Just look at the last three posts. Agree or disagree?

Brangalina said...

Jerry Saltz on Irony. I don't like irony always trying to get away from it.


by Jerry Saltz
For a while now, especially since September 11, people across the cultural landscape have railed against and called for the end of irony. Many in the art world bemoan and begrudge irony. I think it's criminal to call for the death of any kind of laughter. Irony is amazingly effective at making this world, not an ideal world, matter. Artists like Barnett Newman and Mark Rothko had no irony in their brushstrokes; they were after something eternal. Irony touches on the universal but also addresses its opposites: the here, the now, and the fleeting. Without irony art can turn starchy.

rainbowandskull said...

Lisa Yuskavage
Sotheby’s New York
May 10, 2006

Cecily Brown
High Society
Sotheby’s New York
May 10, 2006

rainbowandskull said...

Not bad for the ladies. I think Marlene Dumas is the only one to do so well.

closeuup said...

Condo without irony would not be Condo. Would not be right.

This stuff is genius. It has it all.

Mark said...

This child can be helped! Love his work, great imagination, always a surprise.

no-where-man said...

i will try to hunt down a copy for you blueblaz i had it at one point, aired on tv.. i was not a fan at all until i saw it to tell you the truth now i am huge! he is the real deal. & j waters was out front of the opening.

zipthwung said...

"editorial illustration feel"

like this

Tres conceptual - there's a blandness to the STYLE of condo - and to the preceeding images...in the tradition of pop - blending of corporate illustrational vanilla.

You saw a lot of this sort of style in the nineties - in annula reports and financial brochures.

Kostabi is annoyingly ingratiating with his corporate schtick.

Theres a sameness to it all:

regardless of medium

power to the people


albino radio1 said...

'realistic representation of something that's artificial'...Maybe, if realism is abstraction. Which, it is, i think.

Condo relies too much on his formal 'high art meets kitcth' formula. i agree w.w., he should kick it a little more.

But maybe the most inventive parts of the paintings are where the abstractions of the characters become dis-functional.
like, in this one, how the jaw is below the neck, which really makes the neck useless. so ultimately, the character cannot eat.

what is interesting is when there is no mouth and the neck visually calls into attention its inability to swallow. here i begin to think about how useless looking at other people's bodies really is. perhaps condo's criticism of masterful modernists is the failure of the body to visually offer visceral awareness.

closeuup said...

Picasso, Don Martin & Francis Bacon all rolled into one.

Real real deal.

Cross said...

I feel about this painting the way I felt watching the movie ET, where everyone else loved it and I hated the creature so much I walked out. Must be powerful art. I'm trying to like it. Can't yet.

ec said...

I'd lump Condo into the editorial category if the work weren't so intrinsically PAINTED, but it is painted.
Just look at the purple!
Can't wait for this one since the last show was so good.

no-where-man said...

see the movie, i will hunt it down again... he has a special majkic little world that these creatures are from. not kastobi at all. the other side of the coin.

zipthwung said...

yeah paint application and surface - warmth and chill. Neutral and active. Kostabi is inert.

The other criticism is that these could be considered monsters (monsters being "masklike" (as stated above)or cartoons), and monsters are...too easy?


But I like monsters.

Bunko Boy said...

I find that I am much more attracted to Condo's large complex images over the kind of image on view here. His "portraits" are too simple to capture my interest. I think the influence this artist has had on the work of younger artists like Dana Shutz and Lamar Peterson is quite obvious.

Bunko Boy said...

I find that I am much more attracted to Condo's large complex images over the kind of image on view here. His "portraits" are too simple to capture my interest. I think the influence this artist has had on the work of younger artists like Dana Shutz and Lamar Peterson is quite obvious.

sloth said...

yeah, zip, Condo is very "ert."

no-where-man said...

very true, bunko this is a very very simple sketch... but i like to say put this posting window above the face and look at the architecture of the space below the character and think, - do they relate? could i be missing something?

brian edmonds said...

I like some of the other paintings in this show. I don't really care for this painting though. The mouth throws me off. I don't like the clown faces either but for the most part he is a great painter in a period when great painting is hard to come by. I mean there are great painters out there but for the most part most consider it to be dead. I think it and sculpture are the only true art forms. Video and conceptual art are so trendy and lack substance. Sometimes it works but for the most part its crapola.

brian edmonds said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
no-where-man said...

i think painting and sculpture are to established and just considered "art" by default, pre-cannonised. in a markets market these days! - OF COURSE there are the dimonds but you got to be good in video or conceptual art in the real world to keep it going..

brian edmonds said...

Well all painting isnt good but to me video and installation art are gimmicks. If done well it can be a great thing but it usually falls short. I did see an installation on the Holocaust a few years back that was really good and a few other things in between. When I was in Chicago recently I saw a piece on Samuel Beckett that I didnt really care for. The idea of it was ok but the piece itself fell on its face. Anyone from Chicago out there?

imageworship said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
imageworship said...

Speaking of illustration, I think is his work on a Phish album.

Vlahos Boyiajees said...

if you frequent NYC's Chelsea galleries check out http://chelseaartgalleries.com/ it offers a wealth of info...

no-where-man said...

hey! thats big red - cool... i did phish tour for a while they were preformace artists at one point. i would not say album covers are 'illustration' i don't think that way of mike kelly, richard Prince or say Howard Finster

zipthwung said...

"I think the influence this artist has had on the work of younger artists like Dana Shutz and Lamar Peterson is quite obvious. "

Quite obvious. THe influence of Picasso still resonates, too. I am a huge admirer of Picasso, ever since I saw the Matisse Picasso show at the MOMA, Queens.

At htat show I saw that the tow were having a conversation. I realized that they really had something going on.

Genres. Styles. Traditions. Axioms. Nature- Nurture.


Even cubism became a fucking sleepwalk, stylisticly. Picasso doing Picasso.

Its all illustration. Duchamp said so, too, I think. Who cares he's dead.

If it puts you in another place its good. If it makes you feel smarter, its high. If it makes you smarter then its really high. Orbit.

Professor Mouth said...

Condo is the only motherfucker that I have anything nice to say about. Which is funny, because you can just tell he's a nasty bastard by looking at his paintings. They're hilarious, ugly, and lushly painted. So much illustrational, grotesque-by-way-of-grad-school crap out there, but Condo pulls it off. And did someone reference Don Martin? From MAD? That's awesome.

closeuup said...

yea for those who don't know about Don Martin you just have to google him. you will be laughing all day.

Cooky Blaha said...

i just wanted to go on record as being someone who despises Condo's work. I think this painting is horrible. I hate this work more than I hate Carol Dunham's work.

there I said it

zipthwung said...

Isn't there a little blue period in all of us?

I dislike Caroll Dunham's glib mannered gestural profanity.
Like a kid who just learned to say fuck you to the art world, but still has to suckle.

In the same way this is manneredand glib, except its well developed, like a flowery fuck you.
That still suckles.

Vlahos Boyiajees said...

I had Dunham walking through my studio that I shared with other students back in the day. I remember him checking my paintings out and not really saying anything. He seems like a very intellectual dude which his paintings don't necessarily scream. I can't really say I like his paintings either. They are really easy paintings to hate maybe because they are SO obvious, at least to me, about the ID and our ugly side. He paints like a fucked-up child. Maybe it's this fucked-up side of ourselves that I hate and not his work. I can't decide. But he picked Banks Violette for his first show ever while at school and I can see why, now, that he picked him. By the way, Condo rocks, what's to hate?

!!!! Also, Painter, we, painters, get inspired by other stuff besides just paintings. I'd like to see comments on 3D and film too.....!!!!

Painter said...

Vlahos Boyiajees I would like to do a sculpture and drawing blog along with this one. But I am a small opeation of one so I would need a helper.

bada said...

I'm with cooky... don't care for his work.

...for me it's just too similar to all the european portraiture crap for
how many centuries...or similarly those european grotesques
sculptures... and sure, there's a bit of a spin, and the cubism
aspect, but I don't see anything fresh, myself.
And people say his painting is wonderful...blah blah blah... but I'm
sorry, I just don't see how it's any better than other painters out
there... all this crap about..."oh there's so few good painters out there"...the truth is that there are too many painters, too many artist's in general...so in an overwhelmed state, we just cling to those we like and denote them as necessarily "better" at painting or art or whatever...I mean, before so few people has access to education, studios, supplies...etc. So, just to be specific, there's quite a number of very good painters, technique, or even so far as concept, or certainly good grasp of major painters beyond the old masters till now... so it has to be about something else than, "ooooh, there are so few good painters, and he's sooooo good"

I'm sorry, all snooty bs when someone feels the need to say "ooooh, there's so few good painters". puleez. We all have known excellent painters, and some of them are close friends that for some reason have lost out on gallery attention to other lamo artists...and I just don't see how condo's any better at painting than, god know's who, probably some of you...

If people want to say "ok, it's not about painterly technique but about his concept" I mean, what is he investigating
that is so goddamn different and interesting? ...I mean, cubism, portraiture, cartoony, illustrative, kitsch, irony, faces...et.al. ...people have all said what it's like...and we've seen it all before...to me, his concept isn't fresh or new either, nor exciting... In fact, I see it as all too gimicky...people like picasso, people like portraiture, people like (white) faces, people like goofiness, people like twisted caricatures of humanity (oooh), people like grotesque, people like bright, dramatic color, people like older eccentric (beatnic) artists (aside from rich people, lifestyle, etc.), and finally, people like irony (yes, they do. tv, hello?), or rather, decandant bs on a stick to capitalize on...

...and merely it comes down to, and I borrow this from someone who commented here before, to what you like for whatever shallow or seemingly deep reason...or more "democratically" there are few that follow the aesthetic that you like...and sure, condo exhibits very little aesethetic that I like. admittedly.

and if it comes down to just that, so help us all...so please, let it not be about that...

then people will say, "ok, it may be about relevance, and don't forget, he emerged out of the 80's"...well, it's not the 80's, and a helluva lot has happened since then, and I don't see fraction of any of that in his recent work...I mean, he really hasn't changed that much... and there is little excuse for that.

So if people want to continue to like him, and talk about it here, I say, say something that's more convincing...so far, I don't buy it. All this talk from you guys on other work, "this isn't fresh, this isn't new", blah blah blah and look at what you like? this all very obvious, and tired.

well, i want something else.

serena said...

To paraphrase Bada, I hate this painting.

It's slick, it's cynical, if it weren't for the luscious purple it would be a bad cartoon. Irony is too easy. It's an excuse for failing to engage. Can we step back from ourselves for one second and look at what we've become, as a society and as a community of artists, when we take this kind of ugly, lifeless stuff seriously? Are we apprehending the real world at all, or just our take on someone's take on someone's take on something tired and arcane to begin with?

zipthwung said...

SLick and cynical can be good. This isn't that slick. And it could be more cynical.

primetime said...

This guy is a seriously good artist and this show is great. His achilles heel is that he sometimes lets too much out of his studio by that I mean the less good ones will be shown amung the very good ones thus dilluting the whole. But in the end that's what enthusiastic artists do, they are sometimes the last to know what's good and what's not. i.e. the small paintings in the hall, too silly?

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