The Way George Condo Thinks at The Phillips Collection

Photo by Courtesy Skarstedt Gallery and Sprüth Magers/phillipscollection.org
The Wedding Pianist by George Condo
The Wedding Pianist by George Condo

The Phillips Collection presents a survey of drawings and paintings by George Condo (b. 1957, Concord, New Hampshire) through June 25th, a prolific painter whose career spans three decades and is best known for his rich pictorial inventions, existential humor, and imaginative portraits that incorporate a hybridization of art-historical influences, such as Goya, Velázquez, Manet, Picasso, and Guston.

 

Working in New York and Paris (where he lived from 1985 to 1995), Condo has long challenged the primacy of painting over drawing. He has never considered painting as fulfillment of his drawing's promise. It is in his drawings that his process of “painting memory” (the title of a course he taught at Harvard University) becomes most undisguised—where he relies on the mind and the imagination to take a “snapshot” rather than photographic material, splits his imaginary subjects into a kind of “psychological cubism,” and allows figurative compositions to be “infested” with abstraction.

 

This exhibition of more than 200 drawings and sketches and eight “drawing paintings” allow visitors unprecedented insight into the mind and creative process of this extraordinarily imaginative artist.