new-york

George Condo

The Pace Gallery | 508 W 25th Street

The most depressing thing about George Condo’s new work is the artist’s age, 30. If these rehashes of Picassoish and Gorkyesque motifs were the products of a failing yet powerful imagination, maybe the raging talent evident in their brushwork would be something to celebrate in print. Condo can paint distinctively, no argument there. But at least on the evidence of this show, it’s a skill that is growing flabby and lackadaisical while the artist unwinds with nostalgia.

Like other painters who chose their “look” in the heat of the neo-Expressionist vogue, Condo uses a stormy texture to strut his sensitivity. Less macho than, say, Julian Schnabel, but with less on his mind, Condo only escapes the fate of seeming merely histrionic—of being a sort of Kirk Douglas of current painter’s painters—because what he portrays is too bland and artsy. Up until the rather sober pieces included in last year’s

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