George Condo was first recognized for his raw and emotionally triggering ink drawings back in the 1980’s. Since then, he has made a name for himself as an artist who refuses to stick to one signature style.
Condo’s work is being exhibited at London’s Tate Modern. Located on the 4th floor in the ‘Peter Norton Gallery’ room.
The first thing that catches your eye once you enter the room are the only two large frames that just tease a little bit of colour. Which contrasts with the black and white features within the rest of the exhibit that decorate the walls.
There is no doubt that Condo’s work has an emotional depth within the rest of the exhibit in his portraits. The artwork that stood out to me the most was his 1996 pastel and acrylic piece; ‘Outer Antipodes’. The portrait has a near, comical touch to its animalistic features and bright red nose but the longer you look at the painting, the monster distorted the image becomes. With nearly haunting features that look like something out of a nightmare.
The exhibit is laid out as if it is Condo’s visual diary. His use of a canvas varies from a torn out piece of paper from a sketch book to a ‘comments’ paper taken from a hotel in Oxford. It’s as though Condo’s art is spontaneous and created within a single moment. Like it washes over him in an instant and he grabs the nearest canvas available. With such an inhibited artistic manner, it makes you wonder why all of his art expresses an emotional darkness. Perhaps, art is his way to release his inner demons?
Condo describes his style as “psychological Cubism – the way in which different aspects of identity, psychology and emotion can co-exist in a single, complex image”. I would highly reccomned visiting the Tate Modern one morning on a weekday and explore the depths of Condo’s mind portrayed through his extraordinary range of artwork. Encompassing both figuration and abstraction.