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Blue Expanding Orgy

Blue Expanding Orgy
signed with artist’s signature and dated ‘05’ (upper left); signed with artist’s signature, titled and dated ‘05 Blue Expanding Orgy’ (on the reverse)
oil on linen
165 x 152 cm. (65 x 59 7⁄8 in.)
Painted in 2005
Skarstedt Gallery, New York
Private Collection, Switzerland
Simon Lee Gallery, London
Private Collection, London
Acquired from the above by the present owner
Special notice
Where Christie’s has provided a Minimum Price Guarantee it is at risk of making a loss, which can be significant, if the lot fails to sell. Christie’s therefore sometimes chooses to share that risk with a third party who agrees prior to the auction to place an irrevocable written bid on the lot. If there are no other higher bids, the third party commits to buy the lot at the level of their irrevocable written bid. In doing so, the third party takes on all or part of the risk of the lot not being sold. Lots which are subject to a third party guarantee arrangement are identified in the catalogue.

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Ada Tsui (徐文君) Specialist, Head of Evening Sale

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Lot Essay

Wrought by stark black outlines against an intense wash of blue, Blue Expanding Orgy is one of the most explicit, striking figurative abstraction works by George Condo to appear in auction. Braving the sexual taboo, Condo confronts the audience with a life-size composition of twisted and tangled nude figures engaging in a variety of sexual activity: at once, most viewers might shy away from the obscene image as conditioned by social practice; yet the smudged and chaotic throes of figures might allure them to take a closer look and traverse the ambiguity in this work. As Ralph Rugoff, the director of Hayward Gallery, London, notes “these figures can be seductive and repulsive at the same time. They embody a position that is simultaneously frightening and appealing.”

With different versions of its prints collected in the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, Blue Expanding Orgy is a captivating example that epitomizes Condo’s exploration of the style he coined “Psychological Cubism” during the early years. The artist has successfully garnered the attention of commercial and institutional sectors, such as the collaboration with luxury brand Dior and the award-winning singer Kanye West, as well as the opening of the largest retrospective in Asia at Long Museum, Shanghai.

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