Blurring the Line Between Drawing and Painting

Installation view of George Condo: The Way I Think. Photo: Lee Stalsworth

What does George Condo mean when he speaks of his “drawing paintings?” We interviewed the artist with this and other questions about his installation at the Phillips, The Way I Think. Have more questions? Join us for a conversation between Condo and Deputy Director for Curatorial and Academic Affairs Klaus Ottmann on Thursday, May 25.

What are “drawing paintings?”
George Condo: “Drawing paintings” are something that were a reaction to the consistent hierarchy that supposedly exists between drawing and painting. What I wanted to do was combine the two of them and make drawing and painting on the same level, that there was no real difference between drawing and painting and by combining pastel, charcoal, pencil, and all these various different drawing mediums on a canvas, it would be an experience for the viewer to see that drawing and painting together can exist in one—I would say—happy continuum.

How has your drawing evolved over time?
GC: Well, this show gave me a chance to figure that one out. I saw the drawings that my mother had saved from when I was 4 and 5 years old until I was about 7 or 8, and really it was all about doing everything right, and making sure I got it right, and that everything looked precise. And then once I started to understand more of the conceptual qualities of art in the 70’s and the idea of deconstructing things, and reading more about Picasso and John Cage, well at this point you have to do everything wrong. You have to break all the rules. So the evolution went from doing everything right to doing everything wrong, but still trying to make sure that the pictures themselves are intact and that there aren’t any loose ends.

Hear more in a short video:

ArtGrams: Capturing Condo

How my mind works #ThisGuyCook #GeorgeCondo #Art #PhillipsCollection #DC

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Photos of the salon-style gallery walls and hundreds of artist notebooks featured in George Condo: The Way I Think are taking over our Instagram feed. Here are some of our favorite ArtGrams from the installation. Share and tag your photos in and around The Phillips Collection for a chance to be featured on the blog.

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George Condo – The Way I Think 👌🏼

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The art of people watching #georgecondo

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#GeorgeCondo

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#thephilipscollection #georgecondo

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#georgecondo #sketchbooks

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Afternoon #art 🎟🎨👩🏼‍🎨 #phillipscollection #georgecondo #exhibitions #explore #dc #lifeisbeautiful #travel #instapicture

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ArtGrams is a monthly series in which we feature our favorite Instagrammed pictures taken around or inspired by the museum. Each month, we’ll feature a different theme based on trends we’ve seen in visitor photos. Hashtag your images with #PhillipsCollection or tag your location for a chance to be featured.

A Ghostly Presence

Exhibition at The Phillips Collection, Washington DC.

Photo: Lee Stalsworth

This pairing in a small gallery on the second floor of the original Phillips house is no coincidence; Intersections artist Arlene Shechet quite intentionally paired her ceramic work with Francis Bacon’s haunting Study of Figure in a Landscape (1952) from the museum’s permanent collection. “My piece is called The Possibility of Ghosts, and when I first saw the Bacon, I felt the ghostly presence of the gray figure, so that came together immediately,” said Shechet. The two pieces are the only works in the gallery, inviting focused and direct dialogue between them. Hear more from Shechet in this interview with the artist.