On February 15, 2023, Hauser & Wirth opened its second Los Angeles gallery, at 8980 Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood, with an exhibition of new paintings by celebrated American artist George Condo. The solo exhibition will remain on view through April 22, 2023.
This is Condo’s first exhibition in LA in nearly five years. With the exhibition’s title “People Are Strange,” taken from the hit 1967 song of the same name by legendary – and quintessentially Los Angeles – band The Doors, Condo’s latest canvases are filled with fragmented portraits and abstractions that echo LA’s sublime dissonance.
In these large-scale works, the artist renders layered, vibrating planes, lines and geometries that suggest a world of oppositional forces and states, at once solemn and euphoric, connected and entropic, logical and ineffable, beautiful and ugly. In their ability to convey deep contradictions through Condo’s mastery of the medium of painting, the canvases on view painted in New York City over the past year and a half are a reconstructive body of work involving both harsh lines and melodic painterly passages – and which characterize the dividing forces of modern life everywhere.
Condo has said that the exhibition’s title, “People Are Strange” references ‘the effect of the divisive politics of our time that have created a fractured society. In these works I put together the broken pieces and fragmented aspects of that division to intentionally point out the question: is it that people are strange or is it the politicians that are in fact strange, thus resulting in a maelstrom of dehumanized and disenchanted people who as a result have become strange….even to themselves.’
“People Are Strange” offers impressions of the strange world around him and, in doing so, captures something universal about the transforming effects of time’s passage as it pertains to the time-lapse we have all lived through during the pandemic.
On View: February 15, 2023 – April 22, 2023
What: “People Are Strange,”
Where: Hauser & Wirth, West Hollywood, 8980 Santa Monica Blvd., 90069