Fairhurst’s prints refer to the language of advertising and fashion photography while seeking to undermine it. Using postcards and advertisements as a starting point, their motifs were cut and edited in a way that reminds us of the torn or overlaid papers of billboards posted in the streets and underground tunnels. In these etchings the figures are replaced by silhouettes and shadowy figures.
Fairhurst intentionally vandalises the iconography that we are used to viewing, obliterating his models so that they emerge from the surface only suggestively. Outlined in front of wire fencing and wallpaper are the traces of a hand on cocked hip or an aquiline calf muscle. The female form jostles beneath layers of colour. In negating their presence and keeping each plate to a minimum palette, the artist has pointed to the pun of his ‘Unprinted’ title, and those of earlier works such as ‘Underdone/Overdone’ and ‘Untouched.’
Angus Fairhurst was born in Kent, England in 1966 and studied at Goldsmiths College in London, where he met and worked with Gary Hume, Sarah Lucas and Damien Hirst. Together they organized and took part in the 1988 exhibition, Freeze, for which the group attracted great acclaim.
In the years between Freeze and the artist’s suicide in March 2008, Fairhurst was known for a diverse body of work to include painting, sculpture and installation. His work was exhibited worldwide including In the darkest hour there may be light: Works from Damien Hirst's Murderme Collection, Serpentine Gallery, London, 2006; In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, Tate Britain, London, 2004; Century City: Art and Culture in the Modern Metropolis, Tate Modern, London, 2001; Apocalypse, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2000; The Anagrammatical Body, Neue Landesmuseum, Graz, Austria; Brilliant, Walker Art Centre, Minneapolis, 1995.