press release

Blum & Poe is pleased to announce “Black Sculptures Black Paintings,” our debut exhibition of works by American artist George Condo and British artist Nigel Cooke. Conceived by Condo and Cooke through their mutual artistic admiration, the exhibit will bring together sculptures and paintings by these distinct artists from different generations.

George Condo will display sixteen painted black sculptures that are selected from “Expanded Portraits” made in 2002. Condo’s sculptures resemble busts of ancient Greek and Roman Gods. He uses a classical and familiar style together with his humor and a sense of absurdity to examine relevant questions about the importance of art. As Pablo Picasso said, “sculpture is the best comment a painter could make on painting.” Condo’s bronze busts combine traditional aesthetics with current and challenging ideals. Referencing Nietzsche’s “The Birth of Tragedy,” Condo’s work confronts whether art is able to dispel the fear of a meaningless existence. In these particular sculptural works, Condo’s dark bold faces evoke the past, but their expressions convey a prevailing modern weariness.

Nigel Cooke will exhibit a series of black paintings that investigate the contemporary landscape and how our culture redefines the way we experience the world. Frequently described as “entropic,” Cooke depicts the inevitable deterioration of society. Each of Cooke’s works encapsulate the history of painting, as within each canvas lies inspiration from the European masters to present day graffiti art. His landscapes voyage from low art and high art and all that falls in between. With his meticulous technique and conscientious attention to detail, he portrays realistic backdrops of destitute metropolitan streets littered with both dirt and his own fantastical imagery. Cooke introduces us to a world that is born from one we recognize and one from his imagination.

George Condo lives and works in New York. This year his work has been the subject of a solo museum exhibition organized by the Kunsthalle Bielefeld (traveled to the Museum der Moderne in Salzburg), as well as solo exhibitions at Skarstedt Fine Art, New York and Xavier Hufkens, Brussels. Nigel Cooke, who lives and works in England, presented a solo exhibition earlier this year at Modern Art in London. In 2006 he will have a solo exhibition at Andrea Rosen Gallery in New York and the Museum of Modern Art Fort Worth, Texas.


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George Condo and Nigel Cooke
Black Sculptures Black Paintings