January 30–April 1, 2010
Monika Sprüth and Philomene Magers are delighted to present in Berlin an exhibition with new works by George Condo. At the opening of the gallery in October 2008, large-format drawings by the artist were displayed in the cabinet on the upper floor. Now with the exhibition Family Portraits, Condo is continuing the discourse on the figurative element in painting, which is one of the fundamental aspects in the artist’s oeuvre.
George Condo, who already in 1984 had his first solo exhibition at the Monika Sprüth Galerie in Cologne, resided at the beginning of the 1980s for an extended period in Cologne and moved within the context of the ‘Jungen Wilden’. The style of this group of young painters, to which such artists as Walter Dahn and Jiri Dokupil belonged, was typified by an emphatically painterly and expressive character which deliberately distanced itself from the artistic movements in vogue at that time, such as Minimalism and Concept Art. Whereas artists who practiced painting wished to free themselves from the notion of art which was esteemed then, unconventional art forms such as graffito and comic simultaneously entered into the formal repertoire. The repudiation of a historical or genre-specific hierarchy continues to characterize the oeuvre of George Condo right up to today: the pictorial language of painting from Velázquez to Picasso enters into a symbiosis with the aesthetic of the modern comic book and of everyday visual culture. There are not, however, any direct pictorial quotations or discovered and appropriated motifs to be found here; instead, Condo connects formal references and subjects into a new pictorial sphere, so that an art-historical aspect shines through the presence of a contemporary visual world.