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Life Arts

Nine Paintings by the Astonishing Memory-Artist Condo

By       Message GL Rowsey     Permalink    (# of views)   1 comment

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"George Condo's investigations into portraiture are highly unconventional. Based on imagination and memory, Condo's portraiture has become a springboard for the development of an entirely new language. While drawing on traditional techniques of oil painting, Condo imbues his subjects with a psychological complexity unique in the realm of the portrait."

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The preceding, in quotation marks, is a paraphrase of the text at Condo's Homepage at artnet's Artist Works Catalogues (Works "in Development"). The Homepage also has a picture of the artist, and you can access it by clicking here.

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Some of the following paintings recall for me contemporary works by other artists at artnet and elsewhere. For example, The Beatnik (1987) and Untitled (1989) remind me of Picasso*; Grace (1993) recalls Untitled (2003) by Eugene James Martin**; Nihilistic Lesson (1997) reminds me of Snow White (2005) by Gerhard Richter***; and Widow's Watch (1995), recalls Rene Magritte****.

But aspects of works by memory-artists which recall works by memorable artists are not drawbacks for the memory-artist. Great works live in the memories of almost all artists, which is part of the reason these works are great. Depending on how derivative the resemblances are and in what ways they are derivative, the work by the memory-artist may still be an enduring and remarkable work.*****

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*****All images by George Condo are courtesy of the artist, and artnet's AWC. At its Artist Works Catalogues, there is this: "artnet offers these catalogs free to the public as an educational resource. Simply click on an individual artist's image to begin, and check back often to browse new catalogues."


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"How could I fail to speak with difficulty? I have new things to say." I graduated from Stanford Law School in 1966 but have never practiced. Instead, I dropped back five years and joined The Movement, but it wasn't until the 1970's that I (more...)

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