JAN 26: George Condo

The artist's new show at the New Museum.


The major midcareer retrospective can be tricky for an artist’s psyche; painter John Currin reportedly suffered a two-year creative dry spell after his 2003 Whitney Museum show. Perhaps that’s why George Condo avoided the word “retrospective” in all materials related to his “conceptual survey” at New York’s New Museum, “George Condo: Mental States” (January 26 to May 15). Condo first made a name for himself in the East Village in the Eighties, alongside Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring. More recently Condo’s surreal figurative paintings and gilded sculptures have been gaining traction across the cultural landscape. His work was included in the 2010 Whitney Biennial; models at Adam Kimmel’s fall 2010 fashion show wore masks of his design; and his cover art for Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy album made news when it was banned from shelves due to its flagrant sexual content. If the artist has his way, visitors to the show will see his oeuvre not as a look back but as a sign that he’s just getting started.