An inner revolt: talk of the pandemic in George Condo's new exhibition

Entitled 'Internal Riot,' the new exhibition by George Condo, one of the world's greatest painters, is on display: works executed by the artist during the pandemic.

Entitled Internal Riot (“Inner Revolt”), the new exhibition by George Condo (Concord, 1957), one of the most important painters on the world stage, will run from November 5, 2020 to January 23, 2021 at Hauser & Wirth’s New York office. On display are new paintings and works on paper: these are works created during quarantine and reflect the experience of physical distancing and the absence of human contact during this period of prolonged isolation. In fact, the Covid-19 pandemic forced Condo to take his art to new ideas, with new characters that become bearers of the fragile moods of humanity in the face of the disease.

In these new works, Condo’s figures address the uncertainty and emotionality that the whole world is experiencing right now: the painted subjects lack connections to each other and are in a state where, according to the artist, “we are facing opposing forces and the elasticity of time.”

“These paintings and drawings,” said Condo, “explore my experience during isolation and reflect the inner isolation we have all experienced in our lives. The pandemic has landed us in that strange and unidentified area of the mind where the mind itself seems to function on its own, without any control. Now our rules and our daily lives have all been rearranged: face masks, endless sanitizing, gloves, war on germs. The virus has become deadly and its onslaught has amplified the flaws of humanity, beginning with the cruel denigration of people simply because of their appearance or where they come from.”

“I protested with my paintings,” the artist adds. “The inner revolt that gives this exhibition its name is about wanting to turn your world upside down and burn it to the ground ... so hopefully a new planet can be born. It’s about that transcendental moment when everything is everything.”

“All the paintings,” the artist concludes, “are related to the spontaneous and extemporaneous nature of works on paper, to their immediacy. I worked every day, dating each piece as soon as it was finished. Some took days of work, some weeks, some a few hours. And the days spent doing nothing seemed longer, the elasticity of time became apparent to everyone I knew. We would call each other on the phone and no longer remember what day it was, we couldn’t remember what we were ’used to doing,’ and we didn’t know what we were going to do. There is like a sense of migration in the air. People want to move -- but without being clear about the path. This is a time for change. As an artist, I know that I can correct mistakes in my paintings, and this is what I want to do. I combine all shapes and all colors and harmonize them to the point where they sing like a choir. I would like to see the world do that as well.”

For information about the exhibition, you can go to Hauser & Wirth’s website.

An inner revolt: talk of the pandemic in George Condo's new exhibition
An inner revolt: talk of the pandemic in George Condo's new exhibition

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