With The Missing Link British artist Angus Fairhurst will exhibit together strands if his work that have, for the most part, been seen separately in London over the last few years. Sculpture, painting, animation and video are all included in this exhibition, which takes place on two sites, and is the most extensive presentation of his work to date.
Fairhurst’s work is usually time based, using a process of repetition and reduction in the open-ended pursuit of an idea. “Like seeing the back of the canvas, I think a big part of making art in the 20th century has been about showing edge, about removing artifice, removing illusion. It’s the edge of dissimulation if you like.” (Brilliant! New Art From London, Walker Art Centre, Houston).
A new series of paintings depict a primeval forest, each a hallucinogenic view of rows of tress idealised by repeated layers of colour separations. as a subject nature and landscape have a weighted history. Here they are used more as ambiguous structure than romantic metaphor with reduction and repetition acting to distill the imagery of the forest to a lean conceit. The use of random repetition in the paintings and in the animation that accompanies them introduces fallibility both in our reading and in the process of their production. The space created by something that cannot be entirely planned, the fluctuation between controlled intellect and the wilfulness of desire, allows a melancholic admittance of the possibility of failure and, conversely, regeneration.
Colour separation continues in a bank of stacked televisions that display four looped animations of a male and female figure. As in the paintings, repetition leads the viewer away from the limitations of original meaning, breaking down the hierarchy of beginning and end towards the possibility of a transformative moment. In addition to the works at Sadie Coles HQ, a sound piece and a video projection will be installed in an empty office at 8 Heddon Street. This space will be open by appointment with kind permission of CB Hillier Parker.