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Signed Print Edition of 25
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Joe Syer, Head of Urban & Contemporary Art
George Condo’s Laughing Clown Composition is a late contribution to his clown works. It is an etching that depicts a group of figures in abstract form. It is signed to the bottom right of the etching and numbered to the bottom left.
Laughing Clown Composition is one of George Condo’s several works in his Clown series. The work depicts, in landscape orientation, several sitters. In the abstract it appears as though there are four figures. However, this is uncertain. The work uses visual methods that may be found elsewhere in his oeuvre. For instance, the background effect created on the left of the work is shared with The Insane Clown. Similarly, Condo’s handing of the figures is typical of his work. The features of the sitters are distorted: to left of the composition the sitter has large ears. Their clothing, an elaborate shirt, is reminiscent of the detailed clothing depicted in Condo’s 1989 work Untitled.
The portrait is significant within Condo’s oeuvre as it is a return to a theme that he initially explored in the 1980s. His interest in the theme of the clown also extends beyond the medium of etchings. For instance, Condo produced an aquatint print of a clown: a portrait in colour of a figure depicted frontally. This theme, as the etching indicates, allows Condo to explore the grotesque, as well as questioning ideas of individualism through abstract depictions.