“Upritchard’s proclivity for painting her characters’ skin in tones such as jaundiced yellow, mossy green, or calming lavender— sometimes in two tones or even a rainbow of hues—or having the patterns of their clothing continue onto their faces and hands, as if they have evolved to be able to camouflage themselves within their immediate surroundings, suggests that these creatures may signify a future race. But the combination of recognizable referents that appear to leave her figures nearly paralyzed—their partially opened eyes in a continuous state of rueful pondering— is what the viewer will recognize as disconcertingly familiar, a state of mind that syncs up perfectly with the contemporary moment.”
For her full-scale New York gallery debut, Francis Upritchard – a London-based New Zealander who represented her country at the 2009 Venice Biennale – stages eight figurative sculptures seemingly engaged in a ritualistic war dance. Alluding to a variety of cultural and temporal influences, Upritchard’s work intimates how effectively the past can be reinterpreted, even manipulated. Here, the artist takes inspiration from medieval sources such as the 11th century Bayeux tapestry as well as the woodcarvings by Northern-Renaissance sculptor Erasmus Grasser.
After long days in the studio, the two meet back at home to make dinner for themselves and the rotating cast of family and friends who always seem to be staying with them. “All of the sudden there are six people around the dinner table,” says Gamper of the constant motion in their household. Says Upritchard, “That’s how we get on so well.”
“It could be argued that material always dictates the final form a sculpture takes, however, the unpredictability and “unruliness” of balata played a particularly important role in determining the shapes and attributes of the dinosaurs on display in Upritchard’s Hammer project.”
The role of balata in Hammer Projects: Francis Upritchard: http://bit.ly/12BImsg