Fags, Birds and a Couple of Guns, a retrospective dedicated to the extraordinary work of Nancy Fouts has been announced for Hang-Up Gallery, Hoxton.
Her deliciously infectious smile and dry wit made her a magnet for artists – James Putnam
American-born artist Nancy Fouts, who passed away in April 2019, is best known for her distinctive sculptural works, which reconfigure commonplace objects and materials with subversive and playful humour.
The artist described her approach to gleaning ideas as “beachcombing”, rediscovering the familiar with a perspective that she likened to childhood naivety. Admired for her boundless enthusiasm and passion for disrupting the every day, the ‘modern-day surrealist’ is genuinely much loved and respected by artists, curators and collectors alike for her wild imagination, wit and generosity of spirit.
Nancy’s work brings together these seemingly disconnected items, religious artefacts, creatures and symbols to create bizarre juxtapositions of every day, wickedly funny taxidermy sculptures, and even giving Old Master paintings a surreal twist.
Nancy’s admirers include Banksy, Gavin Turk and Sir Peter Blake. Curator James Putnam, who worked closely with her comments, “Her deliciously infectious smile and dry wit made her a magnet for artists and curators of all ages, coupled with her talent for throwing unforgettable parties at her art-filled Camden house.”
Working closely with the artist’s estate, the Hang-Up retrospective will feature work spanning several decades, including some of her best-loved sculptures and framed works alongside unseen pieces from her converted vicarage home and studio space in Camden.
Cathryn Wright, Executor of Nancy’s estate comments, “Nancy’s retrospective ‘Fags, Birds and a Couple of Guns’ brings together a fabulous collection of her artworks from past to present to make what is sure to be a suitably weird and eclectic exhibition. This will be the first major show of her works since her death last year and we are delighted to be working with Hang-Up Gallery for what will certainly be a fitting tribute to an extraordinary woman.”
Fags, Birds and a Couple of Guns is the inaugural Exhibition at Hang-Up’s beautiful new 2000sq ft gallery space on the Regent’s Canal in Hoxton. Ben Cotton, Founder of Hang-Up Gallery, comments, “I was lucky enough to be introduced to Nancy’s work around ten years ago and instantly became both a fan and a collector. Her wicked sense of humour shines through in all her pieces and it’s impossible not to be drawn in. It is, therefore, a real honour for me personally and the Hang-Up Gallery to have the opportunity to show her works in this retrospective.”
American-born artist Nancy Fouts (1945-2019) graduated from Chelsea School of Art in the 60s, then attended the Royal College of Art, while painting shopfronts in Carnaby Street, for the likes of Lord Kitchener’s Valet. In 1968 she co-founded the pioneering design and model making company Shirt Sleeve Studio and won the Designers and Art Directors Associations Gold Award for Most Outstanding Artwork in 1973.
She created seminal ad campaigns for Silk Cut, British Airways, and Virgin, and designed album covers for bands including Manfred Mann, and Steeleye Span. The record sleeve for Steeleye Span ‘Commoners Crown’, won the 1976 award for Best Designed British Album Sleeve. She directed an artist-run gallery in London which opened in 1989 and went on to exhibit in London, Venice, Denmark and Brussels.
Hang-Up is an independent contemporary art gallery based in East London. Established in 2008, Hang-Up was highlighted as one of the ‘Five Places to Visit in London’ by The New York Times in 2019. The gallery has built a considerable international following over the past decade, propelled by its friendly and approachable ethos. December 2019 saw the gallery move from its original Stoke Newington location to a stunning new 2000 square foot space on the Regent’s Canal in Hoxton. Over the past decade, Hang-Up has cemented its world-wide reputation as major dealers in Banksy artwork, placing original works and limited edition prints to an international collector base. The gallery also deals in works by Harland Miller, David Shrigley, Tracey Emin, KAWS and Takashi Murakami and work with a roster of contemporary artists in selling and presenting artworks through their diverse exhibition programme, including Tim Fishlock, The Connor Brothers, Joe Webb and Mark Powell. Allowing them to focus on staging bigger exhibitions, showing original works and paintings, both in secondary and primary markets.
Top Photo: P C Robinson © Artlyst 2020
Fags, Birds and a couple of guns A retrospective of the weird and wonderful Nancy Fouts – 28th February – 24th April 2020 Hang-up Gallery, 10d Branch Place Regent’s Canal, Hoxton, London N1 5PH Nearest tube: Old Street