George Condo is one of the most influential American artists living today. Born in New Hampshire in 1957, Condo has occupied a prominent position in the art world for close to three decades. 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 despite the coming and goings of fads in the art world. Along with Schnabel, Basquiat and Haring, Condo was instrumental in the international revival of painting in the 1980s. Over the decades, his work has consistently surprised and engaged viewers with grotesque and often tradition-conscious paintings. Dismantling and reconfiguring archetypes found throughout our cultural map, from Playboy Bunnies to Queen Elizabeth and from Superman to God, Condo questions and contemplates the underpinnings of our society. His rich pictorial inventions and many “imaginary portraits” straddle the space between comedy and tragedy, the bizarre and the classically beautiful.
Condo studied Art History and Music Theory at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell. The first public exhibitions of his work took place in New York City at various East Village galleries in 1981. His first solo exhibition was in Los Angeles in 1983 at the Ulrike Kantor Gallery, followed in 1984 by a simultaneous two-gallery exhibition in New York at Pat Hearn and Barbara Gladstone Galleries.
Mr. Condo has exhibited extensively in both the United States and in Europe. His work has been included in museum shows at The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, The Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Monterrey, Mexico, Moderne et d’Art Contemporain, Nice, France, Stalliche Kunthstalle Baden-Baden, Germany, Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht, The Netherlands, and The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland. His work is in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York and the Albright-Knox Museum in Buffalo, New York.
There has been extensive critical writing about Mr. Condo’s work and recently several monographs have been released, including The Imaginary Portraits of George Condo (powerHouse), George Condo: Sculpture by Thomas Kellein (Hatje Kanz), and in conjunction with an exhibition of the same title, George Condo: One Hundred Women (Hatje Kanz). In 2000, USA Films released a documentary entitled Condo Painting by director John McNaughton.
In 1999 Mr. Condo received an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and in 2005 he received the Francis J. Greenberger Award. He has been invited to lecture at many prestigious institutions including Columbia University, Pasadena Art Center, San Francisco MOMA and The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Most recently, Mr. Condo taught a six month course at Harvard University entitled Painting Memory.
Mr. Condo is represented by Skartsedt Gallery, New York, Galerie Andrea Caratsch, Zurich, Spruth Magers, Berlin and Simon Lee Gallery, London.