The Museum of Cycladic Art hosts the exhibition "George Condo at Cycladic", George Condo’s first large personal museum exhibition in Greece. The exhibition presents a total of 30 works -including paintings, sculptures and drawings - which span the past 20 years of the artist’s career. Exhibited for the first time at the exhibition George Condo at Cycladic is a series of paintings and drawings created in 2017, including a rare suite of self-portraits titled Self portrait in Paris 1-3 (2017) and Me, Myself and Him (2017). Rather than a chronological display of the artist’s oeuvre in the form of a retrospective, George Condo’s exhibition at the Museum of Cycladic Art is a selection of paintings, drawings, and sculptures that implore us to explore the human figure, a principal theme of the Museum of Cycladic Art’s contemporary exhibitions program.
Condo, along with Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, and Jeff Koons, was instrumental in reviving figuration in America in the 1980s and is considered one of the most important American figurative sculptors and painters to this day. He belongs to a generation of artists who had to work their way backwards into realism, seeing that at the time, in a post Abstract-Expressionist landscape, figuration had been put on hold while conceptual art and minimalism were at the forefront of artistic practices. Balancing between the beautiful and the grotesque, the mundane and the absurd, high art and commercial ‘pop’ art, Condo’s fresh artistic creations make of him one of the most inventive artists of his generation.
“I think the whole act of making art has nothing to do with the medium within which you work… You can paint, draw, write, etc., but the act itself always remains the same.” George Condo
The exhibition "George Condo at Cycladic" aims to showcase the references, ideas, and mastered skills collected by the artist over time. Condo’s work, infused with deep literary, musical and art historical knowledge seems to be a reflection of his character, an extension of himself: charismatic, grand, insightful, cultivated, elegant, and with a great sense of humor. Cheeky grins, goggle eyes, rows of teeth, and budding heads—whether in black ink or in bursts of yellow, green, purple and orange—make up the figures of Condo’s frenetic world.
The exhibition includes, among other works, the sculptures Totemic Personage (2012) and Nude on Wine Crates 2 (2016), in which fragmentation and reconfiguration appear as integral to Condo’s work and Internal Space (2005), which proves that a work of art can be both representational and abstract. The paintings Homeless Harlequins (2004), Grinning Harlequin (2005), and Laughing Priest (2004)showcase Condo’s characteristic practice of recording the daily absurdities of life through a cast of characters that inhabit his mind, leaving behind his very own commedia dell’ arte. Paper Faces (1997) is a monumental work in which Condo brings together a number of characteristic motifs of his work.
George Condo, «Paper Faces», 1997 (Αcrylic, oil and paper on canvas), ιδιωτική συλλογή. ©George Condo, 2018. Courtesy of the Artist, Skarstedt Gallery and Sprüth Magers