April 04 - May 31, 2001
galerie jerome de noirmont

exhibition release

For his debut personal exhibit at the Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont in Paris, where he lived several years, George Condo has presented Physiognomical Abstraction, his brand new series of paintings.

Through about twenty exhibited paintings, Condo will unveil his brand new pictorial processes, where he explores the appearance of figurative references in the context of free gestural painting and depicts the introspective nature of the present human condition, as he feels and observes it. The paintings progress through the release of automatic thought processes and their transcription to the format of a subjective abstract experience.

Following the example of the work that gives its title to the exhibition, the artist juxtaposes very freely several portraits onto the canvas to achieve semi-abstract paintings, with very fragmented compositions combining of outward appearance and inner mental state.

These portraits are as many intimate images, presented as instant emotions that reveal Condo´s fanciful spirit, which straddles the line between representation and abstraction, between popular imagery and High Art... In Physiognomical Abstraction, many of the faces that appear are caught in the moment of transition where the cartoon´s character and the classically drawn portrait mix up.

Actually, the portraits by George Condo, whose characters are real metaphysical mannequins, embody the absurdity of our feelings that want us to be as artificial as the world we inhabit. They epitomize the fact that artificiality is also a reality in our modern world. They not only advance absurdity, but the dream picture, which is also the staple of modern art.

This series marks a new step in the artist´s "figurative abstraction". Condo´s work is a fascinating tour throughout the history of art, it is a true manifesto that allows him to create ideal works. It reveals the very gist of Condo´s work, which brings a cartoony sensibility to his reworking of the Old Masters, from Velasquez to Picasso, via the Surrealists, a work that relies on the fact that there is actually no difference between a portrait by Picasso and a Warner Bros. cartoon´s critter - after all, they both look equally strange!