For his third solo show at Sadie Coles HQ Angus Fairhurst presents a group of new sculptures and large-scale paintings. The new paintings are spatial schematics for imagined sites of desire. Occupied with the notion of terrain vague, the interstitial spaces that represent both disorder and opportunity in an urban environment that is increasingly standardized and regulated, Fairhurst imparts a belief in the potential of space while acknowledging its contested nature. Incorporated into the paintings are advertising posters, of the type found in bus shelters and underground stations, with much of the information stripped away. Both violent and erotic, the spaces so created become gaps allowing transformation and fantasy.
The new sculptures are also concerned with the creation of and projection into space by means of gaps as material. One piece literally has the middle smashed out of it, a resin reproduction of a ‘To Let’ sign, a jagged outline framing vacant space. In contrast, made by means of building up, another work, a bronze cast of a moment of intimacy between a man and a tree, is an almost abstract composite of energetic gestures, layering and mashing: a counterpart coming into being.
As in earlier work, Fairhurst incorporates found imagery from multiple sources, distancing himself from the work's elements at the same time as he fuses them, the handmade mark as discernible as the mechanical. All of the new pieces are innately connected, idiomatic fluctuations between themes of space, desire, creativity, destruction and renewal. With material from advertising and art history, Fairhurst plays on iconographic congruities between the two, presenting a complex composition of interior and exterior worlds.
Angus Fairhurst was born in 1966 in Kent, England. He lives in London, England. His work has been exhibited widely including as part In the darkest hour there may be light: Works from Damien Hirst's Murderme Collection, Serpentine Gallery, London, 2006; In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, Tate Britain, London, 2004; Century City: Art and Culture in the Modern Metropolis, Tate Modern, London, 2001; The Anagrammatical Body, Neue Landesmuseum, Graz, Austria; Brilliant, Walker Art Centre, Minneapolis, 1995; as well as the seminal Freeze, PLA Building, London; 1988. Solo shows include one at Spacex Gallery, Exeter, 2001; More or Less Angus Fairhurst, Sadie Coles HQ, London, 2001; This Does Not Last More Than Ten Seconds, Kunsthalle St Gallen, Switzerland, 2001; and The Missing Link, Sadie Coles HQ, London, 1998. A new book on the artist’s work, with texts by Sasha Craddock and Harland Miller will be published in the late spring 2008 by Phillips.