“IDEALS OF THE UNFOUND TRUTH” GEORGE CONDO AT HAUSER & WIRTH
“Ideals of the unfound truth” celebrates and is dedicated exclusively to the works of George Condo, a defining figure of contemporary American painting. The exhibition at Hauser & Wirth, Savile Row, London, 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.
Condo revels in the complexity of his works saying, ‘I like to make it complicated for myself in terms of colours and tonality … it makes it more interesting to find my way through it all, to give it a shape, a form, a balance.’ The chaos that is present in the world is a driving force for creation and he sees his works as ‘harmonic resolutions’ to radical divisive elements in society. The process of making art is a way for Condo to resolve these tensions, a form of personal conflict resolution via painting and drawing.
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