Skarstedt London. George Condo: Ink Drawings. 11 February – 5 April 2014
Skarstedt London is delighted to announce an exhibition of new works on paper by American artist George Condo, to coincide with a solo exhibition at Simon Lee Gallery from 11th February 2014. This will be the artist’s third solo show at Skarstedt and the first at the new London gallery, which follows his acclaimed retrospective George Condo: Mental States, at the Hayward Gallery, London in 2011- 2012.
Since the beginning of his artistic career, drawing and works on paper have formed an important part of George Condo’s working practice. Featuring monumental works on paper this exceptional series, realised over a six-month period, marks an exciting new area of focus for Condo.
“My intention with this body of work was to explore the extreme possibilities of ink on paper. I used the medium to create transparent layers of colors. I thought of Rothko at times and his overlapping veils of transcendental space. I placed the figure into this kind of space and used lines to define their ambiguous presence in the void.”
Following his pivotal exhibition of Drawing Paintings at Skarstedt New York in 2011, Condo has explored the relationship between the directness of drawing and the controlled methods of painting. The new works on paper are characterised by a dark brooding palette and a return to the figurative in subject matter. Marking a deliberate move away from the abstract tendencies of previous work, this series heralds the beginning of a new stylistic engagement with a traditional subject in which the drama of the works is intensified by their impressive scale.
Mirroring the continual dialogue between Condo’s drawings and paintings, the simultaneous exhibitions at Skarstedt and Simon Lee reflect the collaborative approach of both galleries to presenting Condo’s work. Continuing in the vein of Condo’s synthesis of both drawing and painting within his oeuvre, the concurrent exhibitions in London further the artist’s on-going exploration of both mediums.
About the artist
George Condo was born in New Hampshire in 1957. Ranging from painting, drawing, printmaking and sculpture, his work is informed by the inherited European tradition of art making. Incorporating a hybridization of classical influences, such as Raphael, Goya, Velazquez, Picasso and Manet, his work demonstrates a distinctive style which he coined “Artificial Realism” in the early 80s when he emerged as painter on the New York art scene. This original painterly language has greatly influenced the generation that follows him. Often called ‘an artist’s artist’, Condo has stood as an example to younger practitioners through his unabashed commitment to his personal vision. Over the decades, his work has consistently surprised and engaged viewers with grotesque, humorous and often tradition-conscious paintings.
For the full press release and image sheet please see the attached documents.
Skarstedt was founded in 1994 by Per Skarstedt to mount historical exhibitions by contemporary European and American artists that had become the core of his specialty in Sweden and New York in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Skarstedt’s New York gallery is located on 79 Street and Madison Avenue in an historic building, formerly the renowned Rosenberg Gallery. In October 2012, Skarstedt opened its London space on Old Bond Street with the inaugural exhibition Andy Warhol: The American Indian. In 2014, Skarstedt will open a new space in the heart of Chelsea, New York with an exhibition of Oxidation Paintings by Andy Warhol and Fire Paintings by Yves Klein.