Curated by Justine Ludwig
Francis Upritchard aims to explore the ground between fine art and kitsch fantasy sculpture where art, design and craft intersect. Upritchard describes her sculptures as “holy fools” as they seem to take part in actions with deep personal attention but are actually completely devoid of meaning. Each figure looks out at the world with pupil-less eyes implying that they are incapable of seeing and act as empty receptacles waiting to be inhabited by a soul. Playing the part of an anthropologist, she places these forms in the context of artifacts of the everyday—plates, vases and lighting fixtures. They appear as relics from societies and as ritual objects both familiar and foreign. Upritchard’s unique vision allows for support structures, objects and figures to bare equal importance.
Her small meticulous figures made out of techno-color painted Supersculpty clay, either nude or attired in found material, take on nonsensical poses. The artist’s fingerprints cover each sculpture and their size is dictated by the artist’s own physicality—allowing her to work on the pieces without help from others. As a result the artist is present in all of her work. Upritchard aims to create figurative sculpture that simultaneously looks back at the history of the art form and to its future.
Francis Upritchard was born in New Zealand in 1976 and is currently based in London. She represented New Zealand in the 53rd Venice Biennale and has shown extensively in the UK. This is her first museum exhibition in the United States.
Francis Upritchard: A Long Wait is curated by Justine Ludwig and organized by the Contemporary Arts Center.
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Image by Daylight Photo