Francis Upritchard


Saturday, January 27, 2018 through
Friday, February 23, 2018


Saturday, January 27, 2018 through
Friday, March 23, 2018

Francis Upritchard

Francis Upritchard was born in New Plymouth, New Zealand, in 1976. In 1998 Upritchard graduated from Canterbury University of Fine Arts, New Zealand, after which she moved to London, UK. In 2009 Upritchard represented New Zealand in the Venice Biennale. She has shown all over the world including in solo exhibitions at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, Anton Kern Gallery in New York, Kate MacGarry in London, and Marugame Genichiro-Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art in Kagawa, Japan. Since 2016, Upritchard has a survey exhibition of her work from the past 20 years called Jealous Saboteurs, which started at the Monash University Museum of Art and since then has shown at different location all over New Zealand.


Upritchard’s intuitive investigations into cultural heritage morph into sculptural forms that transcend cultures and gender and blend the past with the present to create a contemporaneity that is timeless. Upritchard incorporates different materials that are non-toxic and malleable as much as possible, which allow her to get up close and spend personal time with her material. One of the materials she uses is balata, which is a rubber from Brazil. The balata is put in a malleable state by warming it in hot water, after which it is placed in a tub with cold water. In this part of the process the artist has to work quickly and therefore her work has to be intuitive. Watercolor paintings accompany the process as studies.

 Pedestals are important in Upritchard’s work as they define how a viewer sees it. She uses old furniture or custom made pedestals in rejection of the white cube pedestal. Her relationship with crafts, shown through her use of furniture, fabric, and jewelry, is important to her practice and celebrates crafts as an art form.


Starting out her residency, Upritchard will create multiple watercolor paintings inspired by the Lux environment that will serve as working drawings from which she will continue to make several figures from armature and polymer plastic. She will also make several sculptures out of balata in the form of animals and plants. This process is very quick, often completed within half an hour, whereas the figures created from armature and polymer plastic take several weeks and go through many changes before their final form. Upritchard will be giving the viewer a look into the different dualities that happen in her studio through these different processes of creation.