Angus Fairhurst - Pietà (first version) - detail - 1966

Angus Fairhurst

United Kingdom 1966 - 2008

Installation, Sculpture, Photography, Video Art

Angus Fairhurst
Angus Fairhurst
United Kingdom
September 13, 2016
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Arguably the most famous member of the Young British Artists (YBAs) due to his untimely and shocking death, Angus Fairhurst was an English artist active in the fields of painting, sculpture, installation, photography and video. Always displaying the desire to experiment ever since his early college days, this artist worked hard at making sure his pieces are completely unique and unmatched, oftentimes underlined with a strong note of humor. Ever since he became a young star of the English art scene, Angus was the focal point of many exhibitions both in Europe and the United States. work exhibition news

Media exhibition on view at Lucas and Sarah, so contact any known artists - Lucas and Sarah known media works were a part of the news work exhibition
Angus Fairhurst – Over Mont Blanc, All Evidence of Man Removed, 1993 – Image via

Art College and Career

Angus Fairhurst was born in Pembury, Kent, on 4th October of the year 1966. Always attracted to the world of art throughout his early life, he had no doubt in his mind what he will eventually become. With such aspirations, Angus attended The Judd School between the years of 1978 and 1985, after which he enrolled at the Canterbury Art College in 1985. He graduated in 1989 in Fine Art at Goldsmiths College, a part of the same generation of graduates shared by Damien Hirst. The two were already very familiar with each other by the time they received their diplomas, evidenced by the two 1988 student shows which they organized. Fairhurst and Hirst eventually became close friends and collaborated on many projects. Standing out for his unique creative vocabulary, Fairhurst’s early work was often underlined by visual distortions and practical jokes. For instance, he presented a drawing of a gorilla holding a fish whilst they both stare at a plate of chips. Angus loved experimenting[1], so he tested himself in numerous mediums, including movies, sculpture, photography and painting. After he graduated from Goldsmiths, he started to make a name for himself on both national and international levels. As he did during his student days, Fairhurst continued to experiment and test how far a modern artist is capable of going if he utilizes all the contemporary materials, surroundings and techniques at his disposal. In 1991, Angus presented his remarkable Gallery Connections in which he exclusively networked the telephones of the most successful art dealers in London so that they could only talk to each other. The piece was greeted with much skepticism as the gallery owners were scared they are in some way manipulated by such an endeavor. During his mature career, Fairhurst started to make a series of silkscreen prints called Underdone/Overdone Paintings, most of which were made in the year of 1998. The project consisted of thirty paintings which depict abstract forms of a primeval forest with trees, with a strong emphasis on three primary colors.

Angus Fairhurst worked in numerous mediums and fields, but all he ever produced was marked by a strong note of humor in one way or another

News state that Hirst would still work in London, as British world loves Damien Coles gorilla displayed at Sadie in 2008
Angus Fairhurst – A Couple of Differences Between Thinking and Feeling II, 2003 – Image via

Untimely Death

Although exploring Fairhurst’s career is a fun experience at the very least, one who decided to investigate his life will eventually come to a shocking and abrupt end of the tale. On 29 March 2008, which was the final day of his third solo show held at the Sadie Coles HQ gallery in London[2], Angus was found dead in the remote woods near Bridge of Orchy in Scotland. He had taken his own life by hanging himself, with reasons behind that decision remaining a mystery to this day. After the news of his death went viral, Sir Nicholas Serota, the director of the Tate gallery, stated the following in an attempt to dull the pain of the loss: Angus Fairhurst was always deprecating about his own talent, but he made some of the most engaging, witty and perceptive works of his generation and was an enormously influential friend of other British artists who came to prominence in the early nineties.


  1. Craddock, S., Angus Fairhurst, Philip Wilson Publishers, 2009
  2. Anonymous., Angus Fairhurst: The forgotten man, Independent, 2009

Featured image: Angus Fairhurst – Pietà, 1996 – Image via
All images used for illustrative purposes only.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2016Manifesta 11 - ManifestaEuropean Biennial of Contemporary Art, Amsterdam Group
2016Angus Fairhurst - All Body And Text RemovedMeliksetian | Briggs, Los Angeles, CA Solo
2016Collection Jocelyne et Fabrice PetignatVilla Bernasconi, Lancy Group
2015Angus Fairhurst - Bodies: Animations from 1995 to 2001Sadie Coles HQ, London Solo
2015Flirting with Strangers21er Haus, Vienna Group
2015Dojima River Biennale 2015 - Take Me To The RiverDojima River Forum, Osaka Group
2015TerrapolisÉcole Française d’Athènes, Athens Group
2015Wish You Were HereMidlands Art Centre, Birmingham Group
2014Angus Fairhurst - UnprintedPaul Stolper Gallery, London Solo
2014Colazione da TiffanyGalleria Six, Milan Group
2013Un-titledSadie Coles HQ, London Solo
2013Artists of the Colony RoomEngland & Co, London Group
2013Freedom Not GeniusMultimedia Art Museum, Moscow Group
2013 The Mediterranean ExperienceMMCA Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki Group
2013British British Polish Polish: Art From Europe's Edges In The Long '90s And TodayCentre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw Group
2013Fresh TraumaCeri Hand Gallery, Liverpool Group
2013For My Eyes OnlyMaribor Art Gallery, MariborGroup
2012Made In Britain - Contemporary Art From The British Council Collection 1980 - 2010National Gallery of Arts - Tirana, Tirana Group
2012The Artists’ Postcard ShowSpike Island, Bristol Group
2012ArtandpressMartin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin Group
2011Angus Fairhurst - RetrospektiveWestfälischer Kunstverein, Münster Solo
2011Faster and Slower Lines - From the Collection of Pétur Arason and Ragna RóbertsdóttirReykjavík Art Museum, Reykjavik Group
2011Made in Britain: Contemporary Art from the British Council Collection 1980–2010Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Hong Kong Group
2011Beyond The Human ClayJames Hyman Fine Art, London Group
2011Ffilm 3Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea, Wales Group
2010Angus FairhurstSadie Coles HQ, London Solo
2010Angus FairhurstMuseum Leuven, Leuven Solo
2010UndoneHenry Moore Institute, Leeds Group
2010Crucible 2010Gloucester Cathedral, Gloucester Group
2010Yesterday Will Be BetterAargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau Group
2010Keep me postedPosted, LondonGroup
2009Angus FairhurstArnolfini, Bristol Solo
2008Angus FairhurstSadie Coles HQ, London Solo
2006Angus FairhurstGrimm Gallery, Amsterdam Solo
2006Angus FairhurstPaul Kasmin Gallery, New York City, NY Solo
2005Angus FairhursVacío 9 Galería de Arte, Madrid Solo
2004Angus Fairhurst - UnworkContemporary Fine Arts - CFA, Berlin Solo
2004Angus FairhurstGeorg Kargl Fine Arts & Georg Kargl Box, Vienna Solo
2002Angus FairhurstAD Gallery, Athens Solo
2001Angust Fairhurst - "It does not last more than ten seconds"Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, St. Gallen Solo
2001Angus Fairhurst - More or Less Angus FairhurstSadie Coles HQ, London Solo
1999Angus Fairhurst - Broken, unbrokenGalerie Paul Andriesse, Amsterdam Solo
1999Angus FairhurstKunst Halle Sankt Gallen, St. Gallen Solo
1999Angus FairhurstUrsula Blickle Stiftung, Kraichtal-Unteröwisheim Solo
1998Angus Fairhurst - The Missing LinkSadie Coles HQ, London Solo
1998Angus FairhurstAnton Kern Gallery, New York City, NY Solo
1997Angus Fairhurst - Stand Still And RotContemporary Fine Arts (CFA), Berlin Solo
1996Angus Fairhurst - Low Lower LowestWhite Cube, Hoxton Square, London Solo
1992Angus FairhurstAnalix Forever, Geneva Solo
1991Angus FairhurstGallery Karsten Schubert, London Solo
1991Angus FairhurstGallery Karsten Schubert, London Solo
1990Angus FairhurstGallery Karsten Schubert, London Solo