The booth will feature a selection of drawings made by Condo during his time spent in Monaco in early May in preparation for his institutional show. The works in this presentation, such as ‘Anger in Monte-Carlo’ (2023) are directly inspired by the region and were made by Condo in a studio set up in one of the rooms of the Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo.
Some of the drawings, such as ‘Scenes from a Ballet’ (2023), also pay homage to the stage curtain created by Condo for Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo in 1998, as well as the scenography and costumes for the Opus 40 ballet, choreographed by Jean-Christophe Maillot, in 2000.
Drawing, or ‘visual thinking’ as he calls it, is central to Condo’s practice. Condo uses traditional styles and techniques to create imaginary portraits in which wild distortions suggest extreme psychological states. This presentation highlights Condo’s brilliant draftsmanship—at times comic, monstrous, tragic and endearing. Executed in crayon, pencil and ink, figures are overlapping on layered textural washes, combining multiple viewpoints to reflect various emotions occurring simultaneously.
Condo often paints when he travels and infuses the experiences of his surroundings as subject matter in his art. In Monaco, his observations of the numerous characters he observed while in either the casinos or just out and about in restaurants are all present in the works on paper—abstracted and displayed in both colourful and exacting precision.
George Condo. Humanoids
Over the course of six sections, ‘George Condo. Humanoids’ at the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco traces the continuity of a profuse body of work that ranges from ‘space beings’ to Who’s Who, from Guido Reni to Bugs Bunny. Featuring specially produced paintings, the exhibition offers a glimpse of the Condo’s process of invention—as crazy as it is erudite—of humanoids.
Image: George Condo, Untitled (detail), 2011 © George Condo. Photo: Martin Parsekian
About the artist
Currently living and working in New York City, George Condo was born in Concord, New Hampshire, in 1957 and studied art history and music theory at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Starting in the early 1980s, Condo began painting and soon developed a distinct pictorial vocabulary that examines the formal languages of realism and abstraction, collapsing different work processes and genres. His experimental oeuvre surveys the legacy of canonical artists, reimagining their diverse innovations in his own style while challenging traditional conceptions of portraiture.
Image: © 2023 Andrea Rossetti
John Chamberlain. The Poetics of Scale
Also on display at Hauser & Wirth in Monaco is an exhibition of sculptures by John Chamberlain from the 1980s in dialogue with the artist’s early poetry, alongside a monumental public sculpture by Chamberlain, ‘NAUGHTYNIGHTCAP’ (2008), installed in the gardens adjacent to the gallery.
Image: John Chamberlain, Tonk #1-88, 1988 © 2023 Fairweather & Fairweather LTD / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Nicolas Brasseur