“I kind of draw like you are walking through the forest,” Condo explains. “You don’t really know where you are going. You just start from some point and randomly travel through the paper until you get to a point where you finally reach your destination.” Such a spirit of improvisation has characterized Condo’s drawing practice from the beginning of his career.
The earliest drawings among a group of twenty-eight sheets recently acquired by the Morgan date to 1975–76, when Condo was still a teenager. They already show him plundering art history to reimagine past styles—here Cubism and Surrealism—on his own terms. Their titles, Mind and Matter and Entrance to the Mind, signal the essential correlation between drawing and mental states that has remained central to his art until today.
From the start, drawing has been central to his practice. The sheets acquired by the Morgan—thanks to the generosity of several donors—were selected with the artist’s collaboration to offer an overview of his career during the last forty-five years.
Listen to George Condo in conversation with Isabelle Dervaux, Acquavella Curator of Modern & Contemporary Drawings, to learn more about Condo's practice and the drawings in this recent acquisition.