“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.”

Hammer Projects: Francis Upritchard closes on Sunday:

Episode No. 168 of The Modern Art Notes Podcast features artists Alec Soth and Francis Upritchard.

Alec Soth’s newest book, “Songbook,” features pictures Soth took between 2012 and 2014 while working on his LBM Dispatches project with writer Brad Zellar and while on other editorial assignments. LBM Dispatches were a series of seven newspaper-style ‘zines that Soth published through his Little Brown Mushroom imprint. The book is available from Amazon for $60.

Many of the pictures in “Songbook” will be exhibited in three more-or-less concurrent exhibitions: At Sean Kelly gallery in New York on January 30, at San Francisco’s Fraenkel Gallery on February 5, and at the Weinstein Gallery in Minneapolis on February 20.

The image above is a detail from Soth’s Charles, Vasa, Minnesota (2004). See Charles and each artwork discussed on this week’s program at

In 2008 the Jeu de Paume in Paris and the Fotomuseum Winterthur in Switzerland exhibited a survey of Soth’s work. The Walker Art Center launched an American Soth survey in 2010.

The second segment features artist Francis Upritchard. The Hammer Museum is showing Upritchard’s work in one of its 'Projects’ exhibitions through March 1. It was curated by Anne Ellegood. Upritchard’s previous museum solo exhibitions have been at the Secession in Vienna and at the Contempoarary Arts Center in Cincinnati. She represetned New Zealand in the 2009 Venice Bienniale.

How to listen to this week’s show: Listen to or download this week’s program above, or subscribe to The MAN Podcast (for free) at:

thru Aug 9:

New Works
 Francis Upritchard

Anton Kern Gallery, 532 W20th., NYC

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.


Martino Gamper & Francis Upritchard’s apartment via T Magazine’s Design Blog (more images)

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: