Miguel Conde

Young-Hoffman Gallery

For an artist who traffics in the grotesque, Miguel Conde is remarkably restrained. He is no Jim Nutt whose glibness reeks of the horrors he pictures, nor does his work seem bitter or resigned. Indeed, its strong quality is that the button-eyed, stump-fingered, split-headed characters can look so matter-of-fact. For one thing, Conde is totally in control technically. Every one of the works on exhibition—pen-and-ink or ink and gouache drawings done from 1973 to 1977—is scrupulously made. In a half-square-inch area of a typical head I counted four different colors and ten separate types of pen mark. The impression of debauchery is mitigated by Conde’s studious craftsmanship; significantly too, such technical means allow the work to be visual, rather than hyper-moralistic or rhetorical.

As for what concerns Conde himself, none of his works has any title, though several permeating “themes”

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. Please sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW and save up to 65% off the newsstand price for full online access to this issue and our archive.

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.