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 ever since. With his “fake” old masters, reconfigured Manets, and intricate paintings that seem abstract only from a distance, Condo has invented, mastered, and expanded not just one painterly language but an entire lexicon.
Working closely with Condo, curator Simon Baker combines biographical, chronological, and thematic approaches to survey the artist’s work and career to date. This volume includes an introductory essay on Condo’s contradictory nature, a chapter exploring his phenomenal early career, and three thematic chapters that trace Condo’s systematic reconstruction of the techniques of painting from 1984 to the present. Baker explores Condo’s relationship to the concept of abstraction, and probes the darker side of Condo’s psychological iconography in drawing, painting, sculpture, and writing.
George Condo is a stunning volume on the work and life of this unique artist whose art continues to surprise, shock, and inspire.
Thoughtful writing and a generous selection of reproductions introduce a provocative artist …to a new audience. A thorough survey of Condo’s long career with perceptive essays describing each of the artist’s distinct modes of working.
— Library Journal
A beautiful volume…Baker is dextrous in examining Condo as an artist who is actively seeking out expressive possibilities associated with the dynamic visual exploration of his own individual aesthetic experiences and also creatively engaging with a history of art fractured by isolationist, stylistic classifications.
Simon Baker is director of Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris (MEP). He was formerly senior curator, photography and international art, Tate. Prior to becoming Tate’s first curator of photography, he was an associate professor of art history at the University of Nottingham. He has written widely on surrealism, photography, and contemporary art.