“Condon ‘hates’ the birds and flowers’ reference to stifled, feminized, upper class tastes. At the same time, their tasteful ornamentation is her ‘secret sin.’ As both conceptual and visual problems, the images are loaded with implications that sabotage the perfection of the pours. Like Philip Guston’s late-1960s break from pure abstraction, however (Guston: ‘I got sick and tired of all that Purity!'(1)), Condon’s attempt to integrate recognizable images with abstraction revels in difficulty, rather than retreating from it.”
“With their gorgeous colors, over-bloomed flowers, and zones of glitter, Condon’s paintings can be judged hastily as pretty, decorative, and not at all serious. Getting lost in their sumptuous painting passages can mask a disdain for references to a specific combination of gender, age, class, and taste. Though decoration symbolizes everything Condon railed against as a young woman, she felt it necessary ‘to go back in’ and reclaim her experience, and to give voice to women whose creative expression has been confined to women’s work.”
“Condon’s injection of feminine elements into the predominantly male ‘grand gesture’ of large-scale abstract painting manifests a feminist acknowledgment of individual experiences. Recalling Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s proclamation, ‘I have chosen to no longer be apologetic for my femininity,'(2) Condon’s paintings permit birds, flowers, and decoration to sit alongside expressions of angst and tensity, as well as beauty, as part of women’s, and human, experience.”
Elisabeth Condon’s Unnatural Life
by Erica Ando
1. Robert Storr, Guston (New York: Abbeville Press, 1986), 52.
2. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists (New York: Anchor Books, 2014), 39.
ABOUT ELISABETH CONDON
Elisabeth Condon is a painter, traveler, and Chinese scroll aficionado, whose work re-interprets Chinese principles of balance for an information-saturated world. Awards and fellowships include a Hanban Confucius Institute Understanding China Fellowship, the PULSE Prize, Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant, Florida Individual Artist Grant and numerous University research grants. Upcoming and recent artist residencies include Wave Hill’s 2017 Winter Workspace residency in Riverdale, NY, Art & History Museums, Maitland, FL, a Hemera Foundation Tending Spaces Artist Fellowship, the Florida Everglades (AIRIE), Swatch Art Peace Hotel Shanghai, Grand Canyon National Park, Wupatki National Monument, Corporation of Yaddo, Fountainhead and Red Gate, among others. In 2017 she will complete a public art commission for Tampa’s International Airport.
Condon has exhibited in venues such as the Museum of Fine Art in St. Petersburg, FL, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, Shenghua Art Centre, Nanjing and 1285 Avenue of the Americas Art Gallery, New York. Condon’s work is held in public collections including the J.P. Chase Collection, the US Embassy Beijing, Swatch Art Peace Hotel Traces Collection Shanghai, and The Sweeney Print Collection at the Museum of Fine Art in St. Petersburg, FL. She has shown with and been represented by Emerson Dorsch of Miami since 2006.
ABOUT EMERSON DORSCH
Emerson Dorsch reflects the generative partnership of founder Brook Dorsch and curator Tyler Emerson-Dorsch. The contemporary art gallery represents select South Florida-based artists, and we also host leading visiting artists, curators and musicians to do projects at and around the gallery at least once per year. EDG began as Dorsch Gallery on Coral Way in 1991, moved to Wynwood in 2000, and re-opens in Little Haiti in 2017.
Emerson Dorsch represents a core group of select South Florida-based artists. We believe in the joys of an artful life, of experiencing art close to the source. The gallery also has an invitational program for national and international artists to explore and seed new partnerships. Through all the gallery’s activities, we foster art patronage and artistic community.
Unnatural Life, 2016
acrylic and ink on linen
57 x 72 inches
Courtesy Emerson Dorsch Gallery
EMERSON DORSCH | 5900 NW 2ND AVE | MIAMI, FL 33127