Unfolding across the entirety of both the gallery's London spaces, this exhibition is dedicated exclusively to the works of George Condo, a defining figure of contemporary American painting. The exhibition brings together new drawings and paintings depicting states of mind captured in an abstract web that reveal the humanity inherent within fragmented psyches. The portraits reflect a range of emotions simultaneously occurring within us, buried deep within our collective subconscious, revealing themselves through the figurative form. Condo has forged a relentlessly inventive path, deploying technical skill and canonical knowledge to channel the painterly modes of American and European art history into works of astonishing originality.
Condo synthesizes a vast number of past pictorial languages and motifs to create, as he has put it, 'composites of various psychological states painted in different ways.' Often the presence of multiple historical moments can be felt in a single work. The new drawings and paintings on show are portraits, not of living individuals but of invented characters, represented in ways that combine various viewpoints to reflect different emotions erupting simultaneously.
While Condo's practice has undergone a series of shifts and steady evolution over the years, his life-long love of drawing and music remains constant. Drawing constitutes an important aspect of the artist's creative practice in its own right. He uses the terms 'rhythm' and 'tempo' to describe the process of drawing and the freedom it brings, and often likens this process to jazz music which retains a core order, following a musical progression, and allowing for increased spontaneity and improvisation—this process plays an important part in this new body of work more than ever before.
Opening 25 September 2021, the Long Museum in Shanghai will also present the largest solo exhibition by George Condo in Asia to date, which will feature up to 150 works by Condo. Curated by Massimiliano Gioni, the major retrospective will feature paintings made throughout the artist's career and will debut a new series of large-scale canvases made specifically for this presentation.
Press release courtesy Hauser & Wirth.