George Condo

Dismas, 2007

Oil on canvas
217,9 × 218,4 cm

Work of George Condo is populated largely by dramatically stylized, almost cartoonish, characters with exaggerated, grotesque features, ghoulish expressions, often fractured nearly beyond recognition.

A fine example of Condo’s dramatic intensity ‒ the work “Dismas” ‒ demonstrates artist’s study of the psychology of the portrait as well as an investigation of symbolism in imagery. Condo translates one of the most popular iconographies in Western art history into a unique work of his imagination. Dismas was the name of one of the two thieves crucified at the same time as Jesus, usually depicted beside him. Dismas’ haggard face, played by Condo, is contorted into a mimicry of pain. Theatrically propped by a bright spotlight against a dark background, the outlaw transforms from a biblical figure into a fantastical creature of Condo’s universe.

Tatintsian Gallery Selected. Tatintsian Gallery, Dubai. 14 November–30 December 2022
Berlin, me Collectors Room Berlin, BEYOND, April-August 2019
Berlin, me Collectors Room Berlin, Wonderful – Humboldt, Krokodil & Polke, November 2012-August 2013
Frankfurt, Schirn Kunsthalle, George Condo: Mental States, January 2011-May 2012
Krems, Kunsthalle Krems, Lebenslust & Totentanz, July-November 2010
New York, Luhring Augustine, Christ: The Subjective Nature of Objective Representation, February-March 2008

Calvin Tomkins, ‘Portraits of Imaginary People: How George Condo reclaimed Old Master painting’, The New Yorker, 9 January 2011

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George Condo