Art market

Socially distant but financially fruitful: George Condo's lonely drawings sell out online

Works made during lockdown were priced between $100,000 and $125,000 in Hauser & Wirth's virtual show

George Condo with his work Linear Contact (2020) © George Condo. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

Do things actually sell through an online show? And are people even buying during the coronavirus crisis? Hauser & Wirth says its online exhibition of works based on social distancing during lockdown by the US artist George Condo has sold out. The six drawings, entitled Drawings for Distanced Figures, were priced between $100,000 and $125,000.

Condo made the works in crayon, pencil and ink in his home studio in New York state over the past month. “The figures in this new series of works often appear in pairs, linked by intersecting lines, yet their viewpoints do not connect,” says a gallery statement. For Condo, isolation is also positive because it enables seclusion in the studio, it adds.

In a film screened online, Condo says: “Drawing is a way of life, it’s a kind of private activity that you basically do when nobody’s watching, but here we are, in a situation where nobody could possibly be watching because we’re all quarantined. We’re all sitting around at home trying to find our way into some sort of imaginary world that will make life better. I am imagining figures distanced from one another. They don’t want to be but they have to be. There are figures who are invented to resemble those who I wish I could see.”

Hauser & Wirth, which runs nine galleries worldwide, will donate 10% of profits from the Condo show to the World Health Organisation’s Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund as part of its new #artforbetter initiative.