Francis Upritchard

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Francis Upritchard
Born 1976
New Plymouth, New Zealand

Francis Upritchard (born 1976) is a New Zealand born artist living in London. Upritchard represented New Zealand at the 2009 Venice Biennale.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Francis Upritchard was born in 1976 in New Plymouth, New Zealand. She graduated from Canterbury University of Fine Arts in 1998. That same year she moved to the UK where she lives and works.[2]

In December 2001 the Bart Wells Institute was established by Luke Gottelier and Francis Upritchard in a large squat in East London. The Bart Wells Institute ran for about two years and exhibitions were curated by artists including Sam Basu, Brian Griffiths, David Thorpe and Harry Pye.[3]

Upritchard was short-listed for the Becks Futures prize for an exhibition she made 2003 Save Yourself, a small mummy surrounded by funerary urns which lies on the gallery floor vibrating and moaning. A packet of cigarettes is tucked into its bandages, and a single glass eye can also be seen.[4]

In 2005 Upritchard had simultaneous shows in the Andrea Rosen Gallery and Salon 94. The sculpture Torcello, Balata Figures and a selection of found objects were arranged over two large plinths. Sculptures of sloths, monkeys, orrerys and rocks. In 2005 she also won New Zealand's Walters Prize for art, after being shortlisted for her Artspace show Doomed Doomed All Doomed in 2005.[5]

It was announced in 2008 that Upritchard, along with Judy Millar, would be New Zealand's representatives at the 2009 Venice Biennale.Upritchard's installation was entitled Save Yourself. This was Upritchards first major installation of furniture with figures. Across thee rooms in Fondazione Claudio Buziol Palazzo, 3 over sized tables which made up the works Long, Lonely and Dancers, with a mix of references including psychedelic culture, hippies, Pieter Bruegel the elder and Erasmus Grasser.[6]

In the 2009 show Feierabend at Kate Macgarry, Upritchard showed with the jewellery designer Karl Fritsch and furniture designer Martino Gamper. The show blended craft, design and fine art in a seamless way, to a point where the viewer became unsure of the authorship of each work. Gesumptkunsthandwerk at the Govett Brewster in the show 'Stealing the Senses' was a further exploration of this collaboration. The show was shown again later at Hamish McKay gallery in Wellington. This show included ceramics and bronzes made together by Fritsch Gamper and Upritchard, alongside sculptures and lamps by Upritchard, rings and ornaments by Fritch, furniture and bowls by Gamper.[7]

Upritchards first solo museum show in 2009 in Europe was at the Vienna Secession called In die Höhle (into the Cave). The show included works combining furniture and figurative sculptures referencing Sol LeWitt, Gustav Klimt, Beethoven Frieze and Weiner Werkstatte.[8] Her second, at Nottingham Contemporary in 2012 was called A Hand of Cards.[9] Also in 2012 she showed at Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Centre, a show called, A Long Wait.[10] In 2013 Upritchard's show Poato Poem [11] will show in MIMOCA museum in Marugame, Japan.

Francis Upritchard is represented in the US by Anton Kern Gallery, in the UK by Kate Macgarry and in New Zealand by Ivan Anthony Gallery.


In 2004, Nieves published a small artist book of Upritchards Heads of Yesteryear which consisted of 19 drawings of Pakeha severed heads in black and white photocopy, which had a British flag as a cover. The edition was 100 copies.[12]

Human Problems, designed by James Goggin (Practice) was co-published by Kate Macgarry and Veenmen. It included a short piece of commissioned fiction by Hari Kunzru about an anthropologist who becomes increasingly deranged in an unspecified village.

Doomed Doomed All Doomed was designed by James Goggin (Practice) and was published by Artspace. The booklet includes an essay 'Seventeen reduced Propositions For Francis Upritchard' by JJ King and Mathew Hyland and accompanied Upritchards solo show at Artspace, Auckland in 2005.

Dent-de-Leone is a publishing hut based in London which Upritchard joined in 2008 when she collaborated with Abake on the artist book Every Colour By Itself. '[13] After editing the book Bart Wells Institute with Luke Gottelier she joined the publishers as a member.[14]

In 2010, the 70 copy first edition of the In die Höhle (into the Cave) which was co-published with Secession. This artist's edition includes images of Upritchards sculptures from solo show at the Vienna Secession, a specially commissioned short story of a man who journeys to a strange island by the author David Mitchell. The second edition was co-published between Secession and Koenig Books and included a reworked version of the first edition with additional photos of the Secession Installation.

The book Save Yourself was published in 2009 to coincide with Upritchard's participation in the Venice Biennele. It includes essays by Heather Galbraith, Francesco Manacorda and Melanie Oliver. It was designed by Kalee Jackson and published by the Govett Brewster.[15]


External links[edit]