Francis Upritchard: Surf ‘n’ Turf

13 May-11 Jun 2022


Kate MacGarry is pleased to announce Francis Upritchard’s fifth solo exhibition at the gallery.

This new installation features a series of sea and land creatures occupying an unspecified landscape. The sculptures are made from balata or cast in bronze. Balata is a natural wild rubber, manipulated into shape while submerged in water. These animals betray subtle human qualities: standing, waving, kneeling. Crabs, eels, dinosaurs and mice coexist.

Francis Upritchard’s sculpture has often drawn on antiquity, as with her Barbican Centre exhibition of centaurs and humans inspired by the Parthenon Reliefs.

She mixes up classical references with prehistory, myth and futurism. As such Upritchard conjures a parallel reality where these contradictions coexist. Despite classical imagery, these figures bear the marks of human frailty with their extended limbs and dystopian textures. There is a sense of the uncanny, of mythic creatures and unknown forms lurking beneath the surface.

Francis Upritchard has been selected by Art Gallery of New South Wales to undertake a large scale commission outside the new Sydney Modern. She is one of nine chosen artists making new works for the space to be realised in late 2022.

Upritchard has a solo exhibition Paper, Creature, Stone at Christchurch Art Gallery, New Zealand which opened in April this year. Previous solo exhibitions include Big Fish Eat Little Fish, Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Belgium, 2020, Wetwang Slack at the Barbican Centre, London (2018-19), Centaurs and Sea Creatures, Ivan Anthony, Auckland, New Zealand (2018), Jealous Saboteurs, Dunedin Public Art Gallery and Christchurch Art Gallery, Christchurch, New Zealand (2017), Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA), Melbourne, Australia (2016); and at the City Gallery Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand (2016); The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2014); Whitechapel Gallery, London (2014); Potato Poem, the Marugame Genichiro-Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art, Japan (2013); Mandrake, The Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, Ireland (2013); A Hand of Cards, Nottingham Contemporary, UK (2012); Cincinnati Contemporary Art Center, (2012). Francis Upritchard represented New Zealand in 53rd Venice Biennale (2009).

Exhibition designed in collaboration with Michael Marriott.


Francis Upritchard: Surf ‘n’ Turf | Press Release