Wednesday, January 26, 2011

New Hampshire native George Condo at New Museum, New York

Concord, New Hampshire native and UMass Lowell alum., George Condo is now showing at the New Museum in New York City in a solo exhibition titled Mental States.  Known for his portraiture of invented characters that often depict as he says, "composites of various psychological states painted in different ways."  
George Condo, “Jean Louis’ Mind,” 2005. Oil on canvas 45×38 inches. Courtesy of Luhring Augustine Gallery.
My first experience in seeing Condo's work was at a Pace/Wildenstein exhibit in January of 2000 when the gallery was still in SoHo.  The show was titled 'Jazz Paintings' and included large square formatted paintings of what seemed to me to be 'interpretations' of various musicians like Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Jimi Hendrix to name a few.  At first approach, my impression was that it seemed an easy endeavor, but on second glance and in conceptualizing the notion of each artist's music, I saw and felt each of the paintings' lyrical qualities that encapsulated the music beautifully.  At the time I had fallen in love with Miles Davis' classic album Kind of Blue, listening to it and letting it ease our late night car rides back to New Hampshire from New York with my newborn son and wife quietly sleeping.  So I was keenly aware of the smooth sounds of Davis' trumpet of which Condo eloquently managed to capture. 
Kind of Blue album cover.


Cheers to a New Hampshire son for a bountiful career, painting with his heart on his sleeve.

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